Following a U. S. Senate hearing where lawmakers suggested Apple is sheltering revenue from taxes by using a subsidiary company in Ireland, the country is saying the real issue is that companies are working the system across borders and that international cooperation is needed to make real changes. Ireland's government is right, but some of that change needs to happen in the U.S., and there isn't any guarantee politicians want to take on that fight with corporations.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer had a straight-forward and direct message for a Senate subcommittee questioning the company about its tax practices: we comply fully the law, we don't hide profits from the U.S., and if you don't like what we're doing, change the law. Note that in this analysis, Bryan Chaffin discusses the politics of the situation.
I've been wrestling with the right way to put this for weeks. There was something about Samsung that's been bugging me since the bizarro world GS4 media event, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Yesterday's news about the Samsung Smart App Challenge 2013 helped crystallize it for me—Samsung has delusions of relevance.
A Senate committee investigating U.S. corporate tax rates has accused Apple of using a global network of complex subsidiaries to avoid paying billions of dollars in U.S. taxes. The accusation represents a rare bipartisan front in the U.S. Senate, with both Democrat and Republican senators issuing statements in the accusation.
Apple released the testimony CEO Tim Cook will submit to a Congressional hearing on Tuesday, including some of the details of a proposal to overhaul the U.S. corporate tax system. In a 16 page PDF, Apple asked that Congress eliminate all corporate tax loopholes, lower the corporate income tax rates, and to implement a "reasonable tax" on foreign earnings.
Samsung is hoping to draw more developers to the Android OS platform and to spark interest in the Group Play feature on the Galaxy S4 smartphone with a contest that includes US$800,000 in prize money. Group Play lets Galaxy S4 users share content like photos, music and games, and for the feature to take off, Samsung needs some apps that actually take advantage of what it offers. Investing in a contest, however, probably isn't the best use of the company's money.
Warner Music Group and Universal Music are both excited about Apple's planned streaming service, but Sony Music is apparently hung up on how much it gets paid for songs that are skipped. Bryan Chaffin is mystified by this kind of myopia and thinks that Sony needs to pull its corporate head out of its corporate behind.
Apple CEO Tim Cook will be using his time in a Congressional hearing to propose an overhaul to the U.S. corporate tax system. News that Mr. Cook would appear in the hearing broke early Thursday morning, but the leader of the world's richest corporation told The Washington Post that he will propose changes that make it easier for U.S. companies to bring profits back to the U.S. rather than holding them offshore.
Google announced on Wednesday that it would be offering customers a version of Samsung's new Galaxy S4 (GS4) that has been stripped of Samsung's layered-on-top interface and other added software. At Google I/O 2013, the company's annual developer conference, Google said that it was "Google's take on Android"*, and that it would sell the device for US$649 direct to consumers.
Shocked, we say. Shocked. We are utterly shocked*. Sales of the HTC First—the so-called "Facebook Phone—have reportedly been so bad that AT&T is ready to kill it. The device was announced on April 4th, but according to BGR, AT&T has sold just 15,000 units and is ready to pull the plug.
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