17 Dec

These were the 10 biggest European tech stories this week

    The 10 biggest European tech news items for this week:

    1) Apple has acquired London-based music and image recognition service Shazam, for a reported $400 million.

    2) Israeli startup Sirin Labs has raised more than $100 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) for the development and release of its open source blockchain phone.

    3) Nine European press agencies, including AFP, called Wednesday on internet giants to be forced to pay copyright for using news content on which they make vast profits. The call comes as the EU is debating a directive to make Facebook, Google, Twitter and other major players pay for the millions of news articles they use or link to.

    4) iZettle — the commerce platform based out of Stockholm that competes against companies like Square, Paypal and SumUp to provide card transactions using smartphones and tablets as well as related accounting services — has raised another €40 million ($47 million) as it approaches a $1 billion valuation.

    5) Luxembourg is challenging a EU order to recover about 250 million euros in back taxes from Amazon, saying it disagreed with EU state aid regulators’ decision that the US online retailer had received special treatment.

    6) Meanwhile, Italy’s inland revenue service said on Friday it had reached an agreement with Amazon to settle outstanding tax claims covering the period 2011-2015. Amazon will pay a total of 100 million euros to resolve the dispute.

    7) Vayyar Imaging has raised $45 million in Series C funding led by Walden Riverwood and ITI with participation from Claltech, Battery Ventures, Bessemer Ventures, Israel Cleantech Ventures, and Amiti. Yehud, Israel-based Vayyar builds sensors that create 3D images of its surroundings in real time but do not use a camera.

    8) Application monitoring solution Instana, based in Germany, has secured $20 million in a Series B round led by Accel with participation from Target Partners.

    9) The French government is to ban students from using mobile phones in the country’s primary, junior and middle schools.

    10) German digital freight forwarder FreightHub has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Northzone. Other participants in the round include Global Founders Capital, Cherry Ventures, Cavalry Ventures, La Famiglia, and the family office of Indian steel magnate Mittal. The Berlin and Hamburg-based platform provides booking and tracking services for container and pallet transport in real-time, whether it’s be sea, rail, or air.

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