Displaying items by tag: appeal

The US Department of Justice has confirmed that it will continue to seek the extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou who was arrested in Vancouver in December. The DOJ are claiming that she violated trade sanctions with Iran and want her to appear on trial in the United States.

The arrest of the prominent Huawei CFO who is the daughter of the company’s founder kicked off a diplomatic row between China and Canada, which is still ongoing. China detained a number of Canadian diplomats in the immediate aftermath of the arrest of Wanzhou in Vancouver, which was seen as retaliation.

However, the DOJ are continuing their efforts in terms of extraditing the Huawei CFO back to US for questioning, despite reports to the contrary that claimed they were willing to drop the extradition order.

"We will continue to pursue the extradition of defendant Ms. Meng Wanzhou, and will meet all deadlines set by the US/Canada Extradition Treaty," said Justice Department spokesperson Marc Raimondi.

Wanzhou was freed on bail of Can$10 million (US$7.5 million) bail and is awaiting a hearing on her extradition. According to the agreement between the two countries, the United States has 60 days after an arrest made at its request in Canada to formalize an extradition request. 

Once a request has been submitted, the Canadian justice ministry then has 30 days to proceed with official extradition proceedings, though the process can take months or years.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Uber’s new CEO has jetted into London for negotiations with the city’s transport regulator following the TFL’s (Transport for London) decision to suspend the license of the global ride-hailing service. The TFL deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service and refused to renew its license.

The decision by the TFL left Uber reeling, as the UK, and in particular London is a massive market for the US firm. It was the latest setback in a long line of controversies and blows endured by Uber who have in recent months had allegations of sexual harassment within its work environment labelled at them.

In addition to this, Uber has faced countless legal battles in different markets all over the world – and pressure from stakeholders forced former CEO and founder Travis Kalanick to resign. TFL stated that it didn’t renew Uber’s license due to the firm’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences – and also highlighted safety issues in relation to Uber’s vetting process on its drivers.

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is also chairman of the TFL, told Uber that it would serve the organization better to actually attempt to address the concerns raised by the transport regulator, instead of hiring a team of PR experts and lawyers.

However, it has emerged that Uber’s new CEO, former Expedia boss Dara Khosrowshahi has arranged a face-to-face meeting with TFL commissioner Mike Brown who is tasked with the responsibility of running TFL’s day-to-day operations. It was further disclosed that Khan, a member of the Labor Party had sanctioned the meeting.

While Uber’s license was suspended with immediate effect on September 30th, its 40,000 drivers can still pick up fares until an appeal process has been exhausted, and that is likely to take up to several months.

Uber’s CEO facing a tough task to restore order to a firm which has been battered by a host of controversies, and his job hasn’t been helped by the calling of a board meeting in San Francisco which will look at curbing the influence of former CEO Kalanick.

Many expect Uber to resolve the issue with the TFL and claimed that Khosrowshahi made a good start by penning an open letter to Londoners in which he acknowledged that the company had made mistakes, before vowing to adopt a new approach to penetrate new markets globally.

It has been reported that Uber will learn its fate when a judge will rule on its appeal when it is officially submitted on October 13th. Uber’s competitors have wasted no time in attempting to gain its business. London’s second-biggest private hire firm Addison Lee said on Friday it was planning to increase its driver numbers in London by up to a quarter.

Published in Apps

UK telecommunications incumbent EE has threatened Ofcom with legal action if it doesn’t reverse its decision to set a spectrum cap on forthcoming 4G and 5G auctions. EE has been backed by rivals O2 UK as the fallout from the decision shows no signs of abating.

The UK regulator announced in July that it intended to impose a cap of 340MHz on all operators for spectrum expected to be usable by 2020, which was proposed in an effort to reduce the share held by EE, which is the country’s largest asset holder, and its parent company BT.

At the time of Ofcom’s announcement, both 02 UK and 3 UK expressed that the measures proposed fell short in their expectations, whilst EE believed the strategy was ‘unnecessary’. In addition to this, it was disclosed earlier this month that 3 were preparing to initiate a legal challenge, stressing that the regulator had failed to address competition concerns raised by the operator.

3 UK has been a long-term critic of the division of spectrum in the UK, and has vehemently opposed the current policy approach in relation to spectrum allocation. It has previously threatened legal action if Ofcom refused to address the market dominance currently enjoyed by both BT and Vodafone with its auction rules.

Analysts have now predicted that with legal challenges now likely, the 4G and 5G auctions for spectrum which were due to take place at the end of 2017, it will now be delayed until the issues raised have been resolved either through dialogue between Ofcom and the operator or through the courts. EE accepted the regulators decision on 4G, but stressed it wanted to be able to participate in the auction for the most of up-to-date 5G spectrum.

A spokesman for EE said it was reluctant to take legal action, but feels it has no other option to do so, citing that it had an obligation to protect its customers’ mobile experience. The EE representative said, “In response to 3’s action, we have made the difficult decision to challenge the proposed structure of the next auction of mobile spectrum. We need to protect our customers’ mobile experience, and help build the platform for the UK to have the highest quality 5G networks.”

Reports in The Financial Times suggest that Ofcom have declared that any legal action will put the future of mobile data at risk – and issued a warning that it could potentially have a knock-on effect on the rollout of 5G services.

O2 CEO Mark Evans declared that legal action would inevitably delay the auction, and criticized the approach that has been taken.  The CEO said, “Legal action will inevitably cause delay to the auction and gives no thought to the impact and harm this will have to UK customers, companies and economic growth. This country desperately needs more mobile airwaves. It is possible to hold the 2.3GHz auction now and grant immediate access to the newly-available spectrum. Ofcom can and must act,” he added.

Published in Telecom Operators

US government is set to intervene into the long-running saga between technology giants Apple, the EU and the Irish government. The EU ordered the iPhone maker to pay back €13 billion in taxes it claimed it owed Ireland.

However, in a bizarre turn of the events the Irish government rejected the EU’s ruling that it was owed €13 billion in back taxes and said that Apple hadn’t breached any tax laws in Ireland. The EU insisted that Apple had secured favorable tax incentives from the Irish government which amounted to illegal subsidies and issued the record tax demand against the US tech leaders.

Apple decided to take its case to Luxembourg-based General Court, which is Europe’s second highest in December in light of the ruling by the EU. The decision by the EU was heavily criticized by the Obama administration which alleged that the EU was attempting to help itself to cash that should have ended up in the US.

The Trump administration has subsequently proposed a tax break on $2.6 trillion in corporate profits being held offshore as part of its own tax reform, although it has not stated anything in public in relation to Apple’s tax row with the EU.

A source close to the case that who wishes to remain anonymous confirmed that the US had filed an application with the EU in relation to the long-running saga between Apple and EU decision-makers. The source said, “I can confirm the United States filed an application with the European Union General Court to intervene in the case involving the retroactive application of state aid rules to Apple.”

It has also been reported that The General Court will deal with the case in late 2018, although that has not been officially confirmed. Apple firmly believes that it is a convenient target for the EU and that EU competition enforcer used an ‘absurd theory in coming with the punitive figure. Other companies currently embroiled with the EU in relation to tax issues in Luxembourg are Amazon and McDonalds.

Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Starbucks, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and several other companies that were also ordered to pay back taxes to other EU countries have similarly challenged their EU rulings.

Published in Government

The US Supreme Court have decided to reverse a patent penalty which was imposed on Samsung for copying Apple’s iPhone design - in a case which was labelled as having major implications for technology innovation. Samsung had been ordered by the courts to pay the patent infringement fine of $399 million, but that has been subsequently overturned following an appeal from Samsung – although the case has still not been settled.

It now means that the case will be sent back to a lower court, following the decision by the justices who emphatically ruled 8-0 that Samsung should not be required to forfeit the entire profits from its smartphones for infringement on design components.

The ruling was vague in relation to specifics in the case, but analysts have observed that it is likely to curb litigation from patent holders expecting to reap big profits from infringement on a component. The eleven-page ruling found that the $399 million penalty was ‘inappropriate’ because it represented ‘Samsung’s entire profit from the sale of its infringing smartphones’ for copying the iPhone’s rectangular front face with rounded edges and a grid of colourful icons on a black screen.

However, the court stopped short of divulging any further details of how the lower court now tasked with the case should proceed with the trial in terms of determining what the penalty should be. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in her opinion that "doing so would require us to set out a test for identifying the relevant article of manufacture and to parse the record to apply that test in this case."

The court sent the case back to the appellate court in Washington to resolve the details. The case is one element of the $548 million penalty - knocked down from an original $1 billion jury award -Samsung was ordered to pay for copying iPhone patents.

The general consensus among many in the tech sector is that both sides will be left disappointed by the decision because it sets no real precedent. Samsung won the backing of major Silicon Valley and other IT sector giants, including Google, Facebook, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, claiming a strict ruling on design infringement could lead to a surge in litigation.

Apple was supported by big names in fashion and manufacturing. Design professionals, researchers and academics who said they had no financial interest in the case filed an amicus brief arguing on the basis of "fundamental principles of visual design," citing precedents like Coca-Cola's iconic soda bottle.

It is not known how the district court will settle the case with some predicting they may well end up allowing the entire amount to stand, while others feel it is much more likely that the penalty will be substantially reduced.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Last week the European Commission ordered Ireland to reclaim 13 billion euros plus interest in back taxes from Apple, claiming the Californian tech giant’s ‘sweetheart’ tax arrangement with Ireland is illegal. In response, Irish ministers confirmed on Friday, September 2, that they will appeal against the European Commission’s ruling.

Ireland’s decision to appeal the ruling reportedly split, with independent ministers saying they were reluctant to challenge the Commission’s decision. Apple on the other hand has strongly opposed the Commission’s ruling and says it will also appeal against the ruling.

The European Commission’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager said that an investigation over two years into Apple’s tax deal with Ireland found Apple guilty of receiving illegal state aid from Ireland. The country is said to have allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 percent on its European profits in 2003, and down to as low as 0.005 percent in some years.

Ireland has denied any wrongdoing in its tax dealings with Apple. The country’s finance minister, Michael Noonan, announced that Ireland must appeal the European Commission’s decision, immediately after Vestager made the EC’s ruling public. Independents in Ireland resisted, and therefore the cabinet failed to reach agreement at first.

A decision was finally made on that Friday, that Ireland will appeal against the EC’s ruling that Ireland had supplied illegal state aid worth 13 billion euros to Apple. But following the EC’s ruling, Ireland will be launching an independent review of the tax treatment of multinationals, Ars Technica reported. The Dail, which is the lower house of the Irish parliament, is said to be meeting to approve the plan.

“Our appeal will be founded on advice and documentation of the attorney general,” said Noonan. He claimed “no preferential treatment” had been given out to Apple regarding its corporate taxes in Ireland. “Apple constructed its company to use the tax regime,” he said. “Any company could have done the same. This is an intrusion beyond the competence of the Commission.”

He also noted that there is “envy across Europe about how we’ve managed to establish so many HQs in Dublin. We stand by our 12.5 percent tax rate.”

“The nature of the ruling was unprecedented in terms of the consequences for the Irish economy,” said Paschal Donohue, Irish minister for public expenditure. “This ruling has seismic and entirely negative consequences for job creation in the future. We need to maintain the jobs we have and develop jobs for the future. This is a clear intention to emphasize the certainty of the tax code. This government stands fully behind our tax regime. We reviewed how important this policy is.”

Published in Government