Global Glance: EU says Apple owes 13B euros in back taxes; France wants to halt EU-US trade talks

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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

EU says Apple must pay up to 13B euros in back taxes

BRUSSELS (AP) — Apple will have to pay up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) plus interest in back taxes to Ireland after the European Union found Tuesday that the U.S. technology giant received illegal tax benefits over 11 years. The ruling is the biggest salvo in the EU executive Commission’s battle to have multinationals pay their fair share in the region. The EU alleges that many big companies struck deals with EU countries to pay unusually low tax in exchange for basing their EU operations there. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that a three-year investigation found Ireland granted such lavish tax breaks to Apple that the multinational’s effective corporate tax rate on its European profits dropped from 1 percent in 2003 to a mere 0.005 percent in 2014. Read more

France wants to halt ‘imbalanced’ EU-US trade talks

PARIS (AP) — The French government wants the European Union to end talks with the U.S. on forging a sweeping trade deal that it sees as too friendly to U.S. businesses. French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday that talks on a landmark trade deal between the U.S. and European Union are unbalanced and cannot be completed before President Barack Obama leaves office. It’s the latest blow to the proposed free-trade zone that would encompass half the world’s economy. There’s resistance on both continents, and the talks are complicated by Britain’s planned exit from the 28-nation EU and upcoming presidential elections in the U.S. and France. Read more

FAA forecast: 600,000 commercial drones within the year

WASHINGTON (AP) — There will be 600,000 commercial drone aircraft operating in the U.S. within the year as the result of new safety rules that opened the skies to them on Monday, according to a Federal Aviation Administration estimate. The rules governing the operation of small commercial drones were designed to protect safety without stifling innovation, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told a news conference. Commercial operators initially complained that the new rules would be too rigid. The agency responded by creating a system to grant exemptions to some of the rules for companies that show they can operate safely, Huerta said. Read more

Seattle weighs new rules for businesses with hourly workers

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle leaders have proposed new rules for retail and food-service businesses with hourly employees, including requiring them to schedule shifts two weeks in advance and compensate workers for some last-minute changes – the latest push by a city that has led the nation in mandating worker benefits. Seattle was among the first to phase in a $15 hourly minimum wage, mandate sick leave for many companies and offer paid parental leave for city workers. Now, the mayor, city officials and labor-backed groups are targeting erratic schedules and fluctuating hours they say make it difficult for people to juggle child care, school or other jobs, to count on stable income or to plan for the future. Read more

German EU commissioner ‘wouldn’t bet big money on Brexit’

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s European Union commissioner says public opinion in Britain could shift against leaving the bloc if the economy worsens as a result of the country’s decision to exit. Britain voted in a June 23 referendum to leave the 28-nation EU. New Prime Minister Theresa May hasn’t formally triggered the start of withdrawal negotiations but is convening her Cabinet to discuss the potential first steps Wednesday. Guenther Oettinger, Germany’s representative on the EU’s executive Commission, told Tuesday’s edition of the Bild daily that EU leaders consider the referendum result “politically binding” for the British government. Read more

Mondelez says it ended talks to buy Hershey

NEW YORK (AP) — Oreo cookie maker Mondelez says it has ended discussions to buy The Hershey Co, a combination that would have created a global powerhouse selling some of the world’s best known chocolates and snacks. Hershey had said in June that it rejected a preliminary takeover bid from Mondelez International Inc. valued at roughly $22.3 billion, according to FactSet. It said at the time that the offer provided “no basis for further discussion.” A representative for Hershey said the company had no comment beyond acknowledging that it had been in talks with Mondelez and that they had fallen through. A deal would have been subject to the Hershey Trust, a controlling shareholder. Read more


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