Tag: Italy

Italians about to charge Apple with tax evasion

iconItalian police are about to finger the collar of the fruity cargo cult Apple which owes the Italian government nearly a billion dollars in unpaid tax.

Italian prosecutors have wrapped up an investigation into allegations US tech giant Applefailed to pay corporate taxes to the tune of $964 million.

The investigation apparently now has enough evidence to ask a judge to drag Apple kicking and screaming into a court room.

The investigations, covering the period 2008-2013, involve two managers from the Italian subsidiary of Apple operations and one from its Irish-based subsidiary Apple Sales International, the sources said.

The probe claims that by having profits generated in Italy booked by the Irish subsidiary, Apple reduced its taxable income base and saved just under 900 million euros in the period, the sources said.

Apple said it was one of the largest tax payers in the world and paid every euro of tax it owed wherever it did business. Although that is a stretch of the truth. It might be obeying tax law by funnelling funds through Ireland or Luxemburg but it is certainly not paying every cent it should be paying.

It said the Italian tax authorities had audited Apple’s Italian operations in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and confirmed it was in full compliance with the OECD documentation and transparency requirements.

“These new allegations against our employees are completely without merit and we’re confident this process will reach the same conclusion,” it said.

Tax authorities have pledged to crack down on domestic and multinational companies in moves that could help shore up stretched public finances and sort out the country’s financial problems.

Turin places a shroud on Microsoft

turinThe Italian city of Turin, famous for its medieval Jesus shroud hoaxing, is dumping Microsoft and heading toward something more Open Saucy.

Turin is currently running Windows XP which goes to show that not only is its famous shroud mediaeval.

Apparently Turin thinks that it can save €6 million over five years by switching from Windows XP to Ubuntu Linux in all of its offices.

The plan is to install it on 8,300 PCs, which will generate an immediate saving of roughly €300 per machine. This figure is made up by the cost of Windows and Office licences.

Another good reason why Turin did not want to upgrade to Windows 8 is that its computers were so old their designs were found in Leonardo Da Vinci’s scrapbooks and it was not believed that the new Windows would run very well on them.

The switch to Ubuntu was officially approved in early August and is expected to take around a year and a half to complete.

The move has been talked about for two years. The project was temporarily put aside due to economic concerns — it probably would have been too costly switching from XP while Turin still had valid and paid licences running. Now that those Windows licences are expiring, however, the time is ripe to experiment with new products.

Turin is one of the biggest municipalities in Italy to switch to Open Source and it could be an example for other cities to follow.

Stop taking a pizza the action, Italy tells Google

OgleItaly has given Google 18 months to sort out how it treats and stores user data.
According to the Italy’s data protection regulator has been investigating Google as part of a European drive to reform the internet giant’s privacy practices.

There was concern after Google consolidated its 60 privacy policies into one, combining data collected on individual users across its services, including YouTube, Gmail and social network Google+. It gave users no means to opt out.

The Italian watchdog barked that Google’s disclosure to users on how their data was being treated remained inadequate, despite the company having taken steps to abide by local law.

The Rome-based regulator said Google would not be allowed to use the data to profile users without their prior consent and would have to tell them explicitly that the profiling was being done for commercial purposes.

The watchdog snarled that requests from users with a Google account to delete their personal data be met in up to two months.

A spokesman for Google said the company had always cooperated with the regulator and would continue to do so, adding it would carefully review the regulator’s decision before taking any further steps.

Google also agreed to present a document by the end of September that will set a roadmap of steps to comply fully with the Italian regulator’s decision.

If it does not it could cost Google a million euros in fines, which is such a small part of Google’s income it is a wonder if it will care. There are criminal proceedings which could get a few Google executives in the dock. Google executives have been in the dock before in Italy and it ended badly.
Regulators in France and Spain have already fined Google for breaking local laws on data protection, underscoring growing concerns across Europe about the volume of personal data that is held in foreign jurisdictions.

In Britain, the ICO regulator gave Google until September 20 last year to make changes to bring the policy into line with local law.

Lamborgini celebrates 50th

lambSports car fanatics over in Italy will today get their fix as 350 super Lamborginis hit the streets of Milan.

The cars from the House of the Raging Bull are beginning a Grand Tour as part of Lamborghini’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

Starting in Milan, the cars will then pass pass through the landscapes of Lombardia, Toscana, Lazio, Umbria and Emilia Romagna, stopping over in Forte dei Marmi, Grosseto, Roma, San Giustino Valdarno and Bologna, where they will arrive on 10 May in the afternoon.

On Saturday 11 May the Lamborginis will depart again for Sant’Agata Bolognese, for the final celebrations of the 50th anniversary.

The convoy will be more than 4.5 km in length, with a combined power of more than 190,000 hp.

From the first car produced in 1963, the 350 GT, it will include the entire model range right up to the current Gallardo and Aventador models.

Drivers and co-drivers will arrive from all over the world: with 65 percent men and 35 women, their ages range from 22 to 75 years old.