The EU Is Mad At Apple, The EU’s Cabdrivers Are Mad At Uber and Nobody’s Mad At Expedia

An Apple a day isn’t keeping the EU away…

Image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Apple (AAPL), Starbucks and other major American corporations are being investigated by the European Commission for tax evasion. It’s only fair, after all, since the US started this whole tax evasion investigation business going after Swiss banks and their clients. It seems that some countries including Ireland, the Netherlands and even teeny tiny Luxembourg are very gracious to certain large corporations when it comes to how much they charge them in taxes. Apple apparently paid only about 2% on tens of billions of dollars in foreign income by putting that chunk of cash through a subsidiary in Ireland “with no declared tax residency.”  Yeesh. It sounds like the average US citizen pays a higher rate on his or her taxes than a company that just offered a seven to one split. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook swears that every dollar that was owed to Uncle Sam was duly handed over. Which brings us back to the United States and the whole big raging debate on how much corporations should be taxed and then what to do with that money. Enter the politicians and well…you can be sure nothing will get resolved.

Offensive driving?

Image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Speaking of Europe, our neighbors across the pond experienced some traffic issues today courtesy of cab drivers in London, Madrid, Paris, Berlin…While ride-sharing app Uber was busy getting a $1.2 billion investment infusion from multiple investors, cab drivers overseas were busy planning protests to show their lack of appreciation for this innovative technology. Cab drivers are a wee bit irritated over the service, arguing the app threatens their livelihood, is unregulated and unsafe. However, what makes it anymore unsafe than riding in a traditional cab is unclear. EU drivers also have to put up $270,000 to get a license. Uber drivers do not. Just to be certain their voices were heard, they took great pains to snarl traffic, block tourist centers and shopping districts and leave thousands of potential passengers stranded and frustrated.

A bit of excitement at Expedia…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You can now congratulate Expedia on being the largest (though not the only) travel website to officially accept bitcoin for hotel payments. It has teamed up with bitcoin payment processor Coinbase to help out with the virtual/crypto-currency which has had exchange rates from $395-$659. It joins a growing illustrious and industrious list of companies accepting bitcoin for a variety of goods and services, including trips to space on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. You can start spending all those bitcoins at Expedia on Wednesday…assuming you have any.

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