APPLE HAS BENT to the EU's demands and paid back €14.3bn in back taxes to Ireland.
Back in 2016, the European Commission (EC) deemed Ireland's tax break to Apple as illegal, claiming it gave the Cupertino company a "significant advantage" over its competitors.
"The commission is of the opinion that through those rulings the Irish authorities confer an advantage on Apple," the EC said of the so-called 'sweetheart deal' at the time. "That advantage is obtained every year and ongoing.
While both Ireland and Apple denied any wrongdoing, with the latter arguing that it received "no selective treatment from Irish officials over the years", the EC demanded that Apple pay back the taxes it owed for the period between 2003 and 2014, plus interest.
The iPhone maker has now paid back €13.2bn in back taxes, plus €1.2bn in interest. That sum will be placed in an escrow holding account pending Dublin and Apple's appeal against the ruling.
"In light of the full payment by Apple of the illegal State aid it had received from Ireland, Commissioner Vestager will be proposing to the College of Commissioners the withdrawal of this court action," the EC said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Irish government, however, still disagrees with the EC's ruling. Finance minister Paschal Donohoe emphasised this a statement, saying: "While the government fundamentally disagrees with the Commission's analysis in the Apple State Aid decision and is seeking an annulment of that decision in the European Courts, as committed members of the European Union, we have always confirmed that we would recover the alleged State aid."
The matter will likely take several years to be settled by the European courts, the statement added. µ
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