In today’s Bulldog wrapup of technology news:

  • A federal court tosses an FTC lawsuit against AT&T over throttling data
  • Apple faces a big back-taxes bill in EU
  • A new iPhone could be coming
  • The SpaceX Dragon returns from space station
  • The FBI warns of a possible voting machine hack

The details:

  • Court dismisses data speed reduction suit against AT&T

A federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit by federal officials that claimed AT&T misled millions of smartphone customers with unlimited data plans who had their Internet speeds cut.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Monday that AT&T was exempt from the prohibition against unfair and deceptive practices that the Federal Trade Commission cited in its 2014 lawsuit.

AT&T said it informed all unlimited data-plan customers about the practice well before it was implemented.
The FTC did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

The FTC said AT&T failed to adequately disclose that it would reduce customers’ data speeds if they used more than a certain amount of data in a billing period.

The Federal Communications Commission fined AT&T $100 million for the practice last year.

  • EU rules Apple must pay up to 13B euros in back taxes

The European Union says Ireland has given illegal tax benefits worth up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) to Apple Inc. and must now recover the unpaid back taxes from the U.S. technology company, plus interest.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Tuesday: “Member states cannot give tax benefits to selected companies_this is illegal under EU state aid rules.”

She said a three-year investigation found Ireland granted such lavish tax breaks toApple over many years that the multinational’s effective corporate tax rate on its European profits dropped from 1 percent in 2003 to a mere 0.0005 percent in 2014.

The Commission said “Ireland must now recover the unpaid taxes in Ireland from Applefor the years 2003 to 2014 of up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion), plus interest.”

The Irish government denied granting favorable fiscal treatment to the maker of the iPhone and other consumer electronics products, computer software and online services. “Ireland’s position remains that the full amount of tax was paid in this case and no state aid was provided,” the Irish statement said. “Ireland does not do deals with taxpayers.”

The Irish finance minister, Michael Noonan, said he would seek approval from the Irish Cabinet to appeal the EU Commission’s ruling to European courts.

  • Apple expected to show new iPhone at event next week

Apple is expected to show off a new iPhone next week when the company holds its fall product launch event in San Francisco.

The tech giant announced the date for the Sept. 7 launch by sending out invitations to technology journalists and industry analysts on Monday.

Apple didn’t provide any details, in keeping with its usual practice, but it traditionally announces one or two new iPhone models at its annual September event. Apple may alsoshow new models or features for other products like the Apple Watch or Macbook computer.

The Cupertino, California company sold more than 214 million iPhones over the last 12 months. But sales are down from a year ago, and analysts will be watching closely to see what changes Apple has made in the newest models.

  • SpaceX Dragon returns to Earth with station science, gear

A SpaceX Dragon capsule has returned to Earth with scientific gifts from the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins waved goodbye as the Dragon slowly flew away from the space station this morning. Six hours later, the spacecraft parachuted into the Pacific, just off Mexico’s Baja California coast.

It’s loaded with 3,000 pounds of research and equipment, including 12 mice that flew up on the Dragon as part of a genetic study.

  • (Video: Watch highlights of recent missions at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKqY8sy3nkM)

The Dragon delivered a new docking port last month that will be used in another year or two by SpaceX and Boeing, which are developing crew capsules for NASA.

With its shuttles retired, the space agency has turned over orbital deliveries of both cargo and astronauts to private companies, in order to focus on Mars exploration. In the meantime, NASA astronauts ride in Russian capsules to the space station.

SpaceX is the only space station shipper capable of returning items for analysis back to Earth. Everyone else’s cargo ships are filled with trash at mission’s end and burn up on re-entry.

  • FBI warns of possible state election-system hacks

The FBI is warning state officials to boost their election security in light of evidence that hackers breached related data systems in two states.

In a confidential “flash” alert from its cyber division, first reported by Yahoo News and posted online by others, the FBI says it’s investigating the pair of incidents and advising states to scan their systems for specific signs of hacking.

The FBI isn’t naming the states it says were breached.

The Aug. 18 warning came just days after Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson hosted a call with secretaries of state and other state election officials to talk about cybersecurity and the election infrastructure.