Apple's Irish Data Center Facing New Legal Challenges as Locals Plan March in Support

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    It's been three months since Apple finally gained approval to build its massive data center just outside of Athenry in Galway County, Ireland, and now "a small handful of locals" have been reported as working to derail Apple's data center project since the company got approval in August. The residents have filed complaints with Galway County Council, local planning body An Bord Pleanála, and most recently have taken it to High Court (via Business Insider).

    Apple is now trying to get the High Court to fast track the case brought upon by the three individuals in Athenry, mainly by putting the dispute on a "commercial list," a dedicated section of the court which deals with cases that have more than EUR1 million at stake. For the data center in Ireland alone (one of similar scale is going up in Denmark), Apple plans to spend EUR850 million.

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    Not all of the locals are against Apple's attempts to build in the area, however, and are planning a march in support this weekend "to show Apple, and the whole world, that the vast majority of Athenry people support wholeheartedly Apple's desire to open a data centre near our town." In the Apple for Athenry March Facebook event, the supportive residents of the town mention a fear that if negative opinions continue to mount against Apple's appearance in the area, the opportunity for community growth could "slip through our fingers."
    The next step for Apple will be on November 7 -- the day after the organized support march this Sunday -- where the High Court will consider Apple's motion and either agree to the fast track plan and see the issue settled within the next few months, or prolongate the company's attempted construction even more. Original objections to the site referenced wildlife issues, local golf course flooding, and the center's proximity to nearby nuclear power plants.

    Once it would start building the data center, Apple has laid out a 10-15 year construction plan for continued expansion and growth of the location, which is intended to power services like the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud.

    Article Link: Apple's Irish Data Center Facing New Legal Challenges as Locals Plan March in Support
     
  2. Benjamin Frost Suspended

    Benjamin Frost

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    #2
    This data centre will destroy a beautiful piece of countryside, and for that reason, I don't support it.

    It's time that planning councils started to protect the countryside and stop granting permission to builders to ruin the earth for everyone else. There is plenty of brownfield site in towns and cities which is appropriate for a data centre.
     
  3. icanhazapple macrumors 6502

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    Apple can get off the wallet and build these things in northern Scandinavia (in a remote area where very few people live),- passive filtered cooling can be done, which would make it very energy efficient.

    The ONLY reason they are building this is in Ireland is their continued use of Irish tax law, which the EU ruled as ILLEGAL.

    Apple greed knows no bounds. To HELL with Tim Cook - I will celebrate the day this miscreant steps down, and stops ruining a once great company.
     
  4. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #4
    A data centre doesn't sell anything to generate profits* on, so how is this a tax dodge?

    *apart from the very small amount of users that pay for additional iCloud storage.
     
  5. jonnysods macrumors 603

    jonnysods

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    Guys the economy is shot, let them build it so you guys can have the jobs!
     
  6. Speedy Dingo, Nov 4, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016

    Speedy Dingo macrumors regular

    Speedy Dingo

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  7. NufSaid macrumors regular

    NufSaid

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    #7
    The first picture has a beautiful sky and when the data center is built there will still be beautiful skies to enjoy over top of the data center :)
     
  8. allenvanhellen macrumors regular

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    #8
    I think you might mean to say, "To hell with Irish tax law."
     
  9. CB1234 macrumors 6502a

    CB1234

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    Never ever get in a way of a good rant, even though it has nothing factual about it.
     
  10. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #10
    Quick question to Irish people, how much is Apple destroying of the forest and are there any other sites that do not contain trees/plant life nearby?
     
  11. Goatllama macrumors 6502a

    Goatllama

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    All right, now that hurts. :oops:

    Maybe build the center underground? Or plant trees on top of it? :p

    And I have to put in a vote for Applecart being added to the Apple lexicon, though I'm not sure of the exact context it would denote.
     
  12. macs4nw, Nov 4, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016

    macs4nw macrumors 601

    macs4nw

    #12
    Nice feel-good pictures, but unless you can vouch that the entire forest will be taken up for the construction site (which would admittedly be a shame), these snapshots only serve to fuel anti-Data centre sentiment. How many acres are we talking about here as far as the size of the forest vs the size of the Data Centre is concerned?

    Let the Irish people decide for themselves, and may common sense prevail.
     
  13. macgabe macrumors regular

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    And even then - I'm a nature lover but that looks like a planted forest of pine. A man-made fast-growing monoculture that is typically devoid of much in the way of animal life. When you come across one of these on a walk it's like walking into a desert as far as birds go. My guess is that an Apple industrial park might well be more nature friendly.
     
  14. icanhazapple, Nov 4, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016

    icanhazapple macrumors 6502

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    what are you talking about? All of the App store/iTunes/photos backups are run out of these data centers. The data center they're proposing to build would serve the EU region. Apple charges money to store content on their servers/use these services.

    These services are just as much of a product as a Macbook Pro is. They're covering their bases with the Irish tax law loophole by saying these services are being 'facilitated' out of an Irish data center, thus in the spirit of the Irish tax law. Would be difficult to book profits for these services if the physical facilitation of this (the data center) wasn't actually in Ireland.

    Again though, the EU court ruled against Apple's use of this Irish tax law.
     
  15. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    Only if you pay for it, which very few people do.
     
  16. tangentially macrumors newbie

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    --- Post Merged, Nov 4, 2016 ---
    You would think Apple could resolve this by making the data center an underground installation. That should actually help with their HVAC costs and keep the land above reasonably intact.
     
  17. villicodelirant macrumors 6502

    villicodelirant

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    #17
    I wonder: how many personnel would a data centre of this size employ?

    Does anybody who happen to work in the field have a figure?

    My guess is in the 20s.
     
  18. icanhazapple macrumors 6502

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    you don't get it. Millions of people in Europe use the App store on their iPhones. Millions of people buy content from the iTunes store. This data center would run these services. This is a hugely profitable component of Apple's growing services revenue, used by tens of millions of people in the EU. These profits are booked using Irish tax laws.

    There could be (another) legal challenge to Apple's use of Irish tax law if the profits they were booking from these services weren't actually facilitated by an Irish data center.

    It makes zero sense to put that data center in Ireland from an energy efficiency standpoint - a Scandinavian country would be a much better choice. Why do you think Google is going there? http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-01-30/scandinavia-draws-consumer-web-data-centers

    The only reason Apple is building this in Ireland is to book profits using a favorable tax structure. Pure GREED.
     
  19. manu chao macrumors 603

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    The part of the Irish tax law that was ruled illegal was already changed in 2015. Simply having a low corporate tax rate (15% in Ireland) is not illegal.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 4, 2016 ---
    Ireland never had much industry (except for mainly shipbuilding in Northern Ireland). There aren't many brownfield sites in the Republic of Ireland. And data centres aren't the worst way to create jobs and tax revenue, in particular if they are powered by renewable energy (as Apple's data centre will certainly be). Their main drag on the environment is loss of habitat and scenery.
     
  20. Borin macrumors regular

    Borin

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    #20
    It will probably be more like ~100 personnel, excluding contractors.
     
  21. Rocketman macrumors 603

    Rocketman

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    Maybe they could put one in Brazil and reforest a huge swath of land.
     
  22. jonnysods macrumors 603

    jonnysods

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    I'd say more than that. It's not just the data center operation, it's the construction of it, it will employ townspeople or drive the hotel/restaurant industry while workers come to stay there, there is security companies, maintenance of the building, groundskeeping etc. It has lots of spinoff value.
     
  23. abhibeckert macrumors regular

    abhibeckert

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    #23
    Construction will probably be around 2,000 jobs and that's going to last 10 or 15 years.

    Apple currently employs around 6,500 people in Ireland. If they continue getting in trouble for doing that, those people's jobs are under threat. As are the jobs of anyone else in Ireland who works for an international corporation.
     
  24. villicodelirant macrumors 6502

    villicodelirant

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    #24
    I know, but my question was: how many people staff a large scale data center once it's built?
    Not an Apple data center, mind you.
    If anybody has a figure I'd be interested.
     
  25. kwikdeth macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    is that a pic of their actual datacenter? somebody should be beaten for that cable management, putting weight on L5/L6 connectors like that? have fun with that
     

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