THE WRAP: Vodafone's tax issues, Apple's end-run

Robert Clark
29 Oct 2010

This week Vodafone faced tax problems on two continents, while SK Telecom put Google and Apple in its crosshairs.

The Indian government sent Vodafone a $2.5 billion tax bill over its Essar acquisition, while protesters in the UK blockaded its flagship store alleging it dodged paying billions in taxes.

SK Telecomput $900 million on the table in a bid to build an apps platform to challenge Google, Apple and Nokia. It blamed a 16% fall in operating earnings on higher depreciation cost because of heavy network investment.

Apple reportedly planned an end-run about European mobile operators by using its own SIM to enable it to directly sign customers to networks. In yet another sign of its growing focus on China, Apple opened an online store and a Chinese language version of the App Store store on the mainland.

Verizon agreed to pay $77 million in refunds and penalties in a settlement over excessive mobile data charges.

Indian cellcos said they had accepted the government's arrangements for monitoring BlackBerrys, although some worried that the web-based system was itself not secure.

Qualcomm sought a buyer for its Indian broadband wireless spectrum, but said the new owner would have to commit to TD-LTE.

IBM led an EU project to improve device energy efficiency tenfold and eliminate “vampire” - or standby - power consumption.

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