Opening Bell: EU Apple tax probe seeks further information, forex investigation folds, Luas workers to strike

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The European Commission has sought extra information from Irish tax authorities relating to its investigation concerning Apple's tax payments in Ireland.

Representatives wrote to Irish authorities last week seeking additional information - this follows a previous call for documents in late January.

It is more than two years since the Commission opened this investigation, a verdict had been expected during the second quarter of 2015.

Both Michael Noonan and Apple have said that they were involved in no wrongdoing and that they are prepared to appeal if there is a negative finding.


Fraud prosecutors in the UK have dropped their criminal investigation into alleged rigging of the global foreign exchange market by traders in London, due to there being "insufficient evidence."

$5tn flushes through the forex market every day, the rigging scandal has already led to dozens of people being fired and fines worth more than $10bn being imposed by US and UK authorities on some of the world's largest financial institutions.

The British Serious Fraud Office has worked through more than half a million documents and concluded that there are "reasonable grounds to suspect the commission of offences involving serious or complex fraud" - but there is not enough evidence to secure convictions.


Efforts to end the Luas dispute have continued overnight at the Workplace Relations Commission.

Drivers agreed to return to the talks table after management reversed a decision to hire buses during tomorrow's strike.

SIPTU haven't yet called off the action planned for St Patrick's Day or the Easter bank holiday, but say the decision not to draft in alternative workers is a positive move.


Education spending is the main focus in the British press this morning as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is expected to announce that schools in England will stay open for longer each day, as part of his Budget.

According to the Treasury, today's Budget will signal an end to the Victorian tradition of the school day finishing at 3.30pm, with schools able to bid for funds to provide at least an additional five hours a week of lessons or activities such as sport and art.

The Chancellor will announce an extra £1.5bn of funding.