AWT News Update: November 9, 2016

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In the world of Apple it was a surprisingly slow news day, but we dug around the Interwebz and found a couple of stories for you:

  • Facebook is set to start allowing companies to send you advertising via Facebook Messenger, although it will be tightly controlled
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook and President-elect Donald Trump agree on one topic - repatriation of corporate profits held overseas at a reduced tax rate

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. 

Text Version

Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for November 9, 2016.

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For the world of Apple, it’s a pretty slow news day but there are still a few things to tell your about. First, Facebook’s VP of messaging products, David Marcus, told the crowd at Web Summit 2016 in Dublin that the company may start sending advertising via the Messenger app. In order to calm people’s fears about spam, Marcus noted that only companies who have previously communicated with you through a Messenger chat can send you sponsored messages that the advertiser will of course pay Facebook for. Individuals can block companies if they don’t want to receive further messages, and Facebook has promised to penalize businesses that abuse the privilege. If you send a message to a company about a product or service, that company can send you an ad for free as long as it’s sent within 24 hours.

Regardless of what you might think of president-elect Donald Trump, there’s something that he and the CEO of Apple agree on — the repatriation of profits held overseas at a reduced tax rate. While speaking at the Economic Club of New York last month, Trump made the following comment: “This wealth that’s parked overseas, nobody knows how much it is, some say it’s $2.5T, I have people that think it’s five trillion dollars. We’ll bring it back, and it’ll be taxed only at the rate of 10% instead of 35%. And who would bring it back at 35%? Obviously nobody, because nobody’s doing it… By taxing it at 10% rather than 35%, all this money will come rolling back into our country.” Now Apple’s last earnings report showed cash reserves of $237.6 billion, most of which is held overseas. Apple CEO Tim Cook had stated back in 2013 that the existing 35% corporate tax rate was a “very high” cost: “If you look at it today, to repatriate cash to the U.S., you need to pay 35 percent of that cash. And that is a very high number. We are not proposing that it be zero. I know many of our peers believe that. But I don’t view that. But I think it has to be reasonable.” Let’s hope that the Senate, which didn’t move on a so-called tax holiday in its current session, and the House move together with the new President-elect to work out a plan prior to his inauguration on January 20, 2017.

That’s all for today; We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.