Apple sues group that occupied Paris store to protest company's unpaid taxes

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2018
Apple has leveled a lawsuit against Attac -- the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions and Citizen's Action -- which ran protests at a number of French Apple stores on Dec. 2, including a brief occupation of the company's flagship Opera store in Paris.




Apple respects freedom of expression, but the protests "put the security of our customers and employees at risk," a spokesman claimed in speaking to Agence France-Press. The company is pursuing an injunction and 3,000 euros (about $3,600) in damages, with a penalty of 150,000 euros ($181,000) if Attac organizes another protest.

Apple says that it met with members of Attac on Dec. 18, and asked them to stop because of the alleged security concerns. Prior to the Dec. 2 actions it had staged protests during the November launch of the iPhone X, dumping a load of fresh apples at Aix-en-Provence, and appearing at the Opera store with a mock birthday cake wishing a "happy birthday to the iPhone" but "a bad birthday to tax evasion."

An Attac spokesman called the lawsuit "an attempt to gag Attac and prevent us from holding new citizen actions to condemn tax evasion by multinationals." Apple has accused the group of vandalism, the spokesman added, even though its tactics are "symbolic, nonviolent, staged openly and with no material damage." This may be backed up by photos and video from the December Paris protest, which showed only temporary posters and banners.

In Aug. 2016 the European Commission ordered Ireland to collect some $14.5 billion in back taxes from Apple, ruling that it had offered preferential tax arrangements constituting illegal state aid, even modifying them on the fly when it would help. The Irish government missed a Jan. 2017 deadline, and indeed failed to collect any money last year. While the country is finally preparing an escrow account, the Commission is pursuing a court case which could impose additional penalties.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,604member
    They were inside the store so I disagree with what they were doing. 

    And latte-drinking hipster professional protesters are a tad annoying, I find. 
    bshankjbdragonracerhomie3Muntzairnerdentropysflashfan207watto_cobratallest skilksec
  • Reply 2 of 22
    bshankbshank Posts: 162member
    Apple stores can get very crowded as is. Add a bunch of angry fools looking for hand outs  to the mix and it is a potential danger.
    jbdragonMuntzairnerdentropysflashfan207watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 22
    metrixmetrix Posts: 250member
    Don't give them a dime! They really think this will help their economic woes?  They will just go beg to someone else after they have spent it all. I would say your out of control when you think this is an answer to your problems. Mom!, I need the credit card again.

    Okay, I would rather believe these are Samsung employees trying to eliminate competition than ... ohh who are we kidding they treat Americans like dirt but i will give them da** good house wine and crepes.
    edited January 2018 watto_cobrabshank
  • Reply 4 of 22
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    I don’t know how true this is but a French friend told me that protesting is considered normal in France. It this true then I wonder if Apple has properly considered the possibility of a backlash against it for its legal action?
    randominternetpersonaylk
  • Reply 5 of 22
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,120member
    dachar said:
    I don’t know how true this is but a French friend told me that protesting is considered normal in France. It this true then I wonder if Apple has properly considered the possibility of a backlash against it for its legal action?
    Protesting is Normal in the U.S. also. The point is they were doing it INSIDE the Apple store. That they can't do. There's not a store out there that would be OK with that. Protesting outside on Public Property in front of a Apple store is what they should have done. So long as they're not blocking the entrance so people can come and go.
    racerhomie3MuntzentropysSpamSandwichdewmeflashfan207anantksundaramwatto_cobrabshanklukevaxhacker
  • Reply 6 of 22
    jbdragon said:
    dachar said:
    I don’t know how true this is but a French friend told me that protesting is considered normal in France. It this true then I wonder if Apple has properly considered the possibility of a backlash against it for its legal action?
    Protesting is Normal in the U.S. also. The point is they were doing it INSIDE the Apple store. That they can't do. There's not a store out there that would be OK with that. Protesting outside on Public Property in front of a Apple store is what they should have done. So long as they're not blocking the entrance so people can come and go.
    That is true. Also Apple took very mild action. Protesters might be removed from private property by security or police force. You can protest away from private property - on private property you do not have any rights to even stay if owner or leasing company say so. I think some people in Europe forgot about those general rules... or there is odd law that allows for that. That would be too bad.
    watto_cobrabshankmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 7 of 22
    jbdragon said:
    dachar said:
    I don’t know how true this is but a French friend told me that protesting is considered normal in France. It this true then I wonder if Apple has properly considered the possibility of a backlash against it for its legal action?
    Protesting is Normal in the U.S. also. The point is they were doing it INSIDE the Apple store. That they can't do. There's not a store out there that would be OK with that. Protesting outside on Public Property in front of a Apple store is what they should have done. So long as they're not blocking the entrance so people can come and go.
    That is true. Also Apple took very mild action. Protesters might be removed from private property by security or police force. You can protest away from private property - on private property you do not have any rights to even stay if owner or leasing company say so. I think some people in Europe forgot about those general rules... or there is odd law that allows for that. That would be too bad.
    Mild action makes sense. For Apple it’s a matter of principle so the $3600 is almost symbolic. If they’d go wild on seeking damages, it would become bad PR on their end.
    bshankmuthuk_vanalingamjony0
  • Reply 8 of 22
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 664member
    $3600 is a pretty small, yet specific number.  I wonder if that is their incurred cost for added security in the days following the Dec 2 trespass.  Has to be some reason to come up with that number :)
    watto_cobrabshank
  • Reply 9 of 22
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,131member
    airnerd said:
    $3600 is a pretty small, yet specific number.  I wonder if that is their incurred cost for added security in the days following the Dec 2 trespass.  Has to be some reason to come up with that number :)
    Possibly some property damages incurred?
    watto_cobrabshank
  • Reply 10 of 22
    Dirty Red Commies 
    watto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 11 of 22
    metrix said:
    Don't give them a dime! They really think this will help their economic woes?
    Funny you mention France's economic woes.  The French economy has been stagnant for a couple of decades.  France's new President, Macron, in only 6 months has begun dismantling long time French labor laws that make expanding employment so expensive as to be almost impossible.

    Macron's actions come at a time when groups like ATTAC were lobbying for a 32 hour work week (presently 36 hour) and wanted more in the way of maternity leave, vacation time and even more stringent dismissal and layoff regulations (it takes about a year to dismiss an employee in France no matter the cause).  France leads the world in legislated labor benefits, and has an ongoing and chronic unemployment problem.

    Tax revenue isn't France's economic problem, its unwieldy and regressive labor laws that are the problem.

    I wish Macron (and France) the very best.
    randominternetpersonentropysflashfan207bshankmuthuk_vanalingamSpamSandwichh2picoco3
  • Reply 12 of 22
    metrix said:
    Don't give them a dime! They really think this will help their economic woes?
    Funny you mention France's economic woes.  The French economy has been stagnant for a couple of decades.  France's new President, Macron, in only 6 months has begun dismantling long time French labor laws that make expanding employment so expensive as to be almost impossible.

    Macron's actions come at a time when groups like ATTAC were lobbying for a 32 hour work week (presently 36 hour) and wanted more in the way of maternity leave, vacation time and even more stringent dismissal and layoff regulations (it takes about a year to dismiss an employee in France no matter the cause).  France leads the world in legislated labor benefits, and has an ongoing and chronic unemployment problem.

    Tax revenue isn't France's economic problem, its unwieldy and regressive labor laws that are the problem.

    I wish Macron (and France) the very best.
    I spend a reasonable amount of time in France. 

    They seem to be doing fine, overall, actually. Thanks for your concern. 
  • Reply 13 of 22
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,694member
    Puck these guys. 
  • Reply 14 of 22
    dachar said:
    I don’t know how true this is but a French friend told me that protesting is considered normal in France.
    Maybe they should protest something that actually matters, then.
    bshankSpamSandwich
  • Reply 15 of 22
    roakeroake Posts: 640member
    bshank said:
    Apple stores can get very crowded as is. Add a bunch of angry fools looking for hand outs  to the mix and it is a potential danger.
    French democrats...
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 16 of 22
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,624member
    dachar said:
    I don’t know how true this is but a French friend told me that protesting is considered normal in France. It this true then I wonder if Apple has properly considered the possibility of a backlash against it for its legal action?
    I don't think the protests there in France is any more or less than other developed countries.  The only difference is that they did it inside private property, and that changes everything.

    If some people entered my house without permission to protest something, rest assured they'd be greeted by my Louisville slugger, no questions asked.

    These protesters have a lot of gall to do that.  I hope Apple takes them to the cleaners and sends a message.  

    In the end, they're preaching to the wrong crowd.  Apple pays any and all taxes it is legally responsible for.  Not a penny more.  Any individual would do the exact same thing.  They need to protest to their elected officials and have the tax laws overhauled, and not the companies/individuals.
    muthuk_vanalingamSpamSandwichh2p
  • Reply 17 of 22
    longfanglongfang Posts: 113member
    I was at that store a couple years ago, and it was crowded. With those guys there doing what they did, there would have been no room to move.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    longfang said:
    I was at that store a couple years ago, and it was crowded. With those guys there doing what they did, there would have been no room to move.
    “What do we want?!”
    “Room to move!”
    “When do we want it?!”
    “I dunno; let’s take five hours for lunch and think about it.”
    SpamSandwichh2p
  • Reply 19 of 22
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,604member
    sflocal said:
    dachar said:
    I don’t know how true this is but a French friend told me that protesting is considered normal in France. It this true then I wonder if Apple has properly considered the possibility of a backlash against it for its legal action?
    I don't think the protests there in France is any more or less than other developed countries.  The only difference is that they did it inside private property, and that changes everything.

    If some people entered my house without permission to protest something, rest assured they'd be greeted by my Louisville slugger, no questions asked.

    These protesters have a lot of gall to do that.  I hope Apple takes them to the cleaners and sends a message.  

    In the end, they're preaching to the wrong crowd.  Apple pays any and all taxes it is legally responsible for.  Not a penny more.  Any individual would do the exact same thing.  They need to protest to their elected officials and have the tax laws overhauled, and not the companies/individuals.
    And the reason they don’t overhaul them is because the elected officials are using the exact same loopholes. 
  • Reply 20 of 22
    ksecksec Posts: 1,561member
    I wish someone could, enlighten me as to why they continue to protest, and what basis.

    A US Company, following every rule and tax code inside a EU country or France, and paid their profit tax back to US government, IF they decide to bring those profit back to US.

    Does US ask L'Oréal, LVMH, both HQ in France to paid all their profits made in US with US tax code? ( I really dont know the answer to this question )

    It is silly.
     

    h2p
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