European Commission Leaves Apple With A Bitter Taste

Tuesday, 30th August: With 8 days to go before the supposed release of the latest iPhone, a bitter taste has been left in Apple’s mouth. Apple have been ordered to pay up to €13bn to Ireland in unpaid taxes by the European Commission. However, Apple, and Ireland are arguing the fine, claiming Apple’s tax treatment was in line with Irish and European Union law. To put the story into context, the standard rate of corporation tax in Ireland is 12.5%; the European Commission’s 3-year investigation has concluded that Apple has effectively paid 1% tax on its European profits in 2003 and about 0.005% in 2014. Ireland’s finance minister is arguing that Ireland need to defend the integrity of their tax system and that he has “no choice but to seek cabinet approval to appeal”. Apple aren’t the only large US firm to be investigated: Starbucks has been ordered to pay €30m to the Dutch state whilst Amazon and McDonald’s are currently under investigation.

In the UK it has been revealed by the Bank of England that 60,912 new mortgages were approved by banks and building societies in July. This is the first full month since the Brexit vote and the number was down 5.3% on June’s approvals. It is also the lowest total since January 2015. Year-on-year, the fall is 12.4% lower.

Mondelez, the parent company of Cadbury and Oreo, looks set to walk away from their takeover bid for Hershey after the $23bn offer was rejected by Hershey in June. The deal, if it had gone ahead, would have created the world’s biggest maker of confectionary: Mondelez are currently the 2nd largest confectionary company in the world, with Hershey sitting at number 5.

After the extended weekend in UK markets the FTSE ended the day -0.25%. Leading the index was Associated British Foods (AB Foods), the parent owner of Primark who were upgraded by the Royal Bank of Canada following a strong start in Italy for the discount retailer, despite uncertainty in the UK. European markets fared better with the CAC in France ending +0.75% and the DAX +1.07%. Ahead of Jobs numbers on Friday the Dow Jones is currently -0.31% and the S&P 500 -0.21%.