After paying over 14 billion euros by Apple, the European Commission has withdrawn its lawsuit against Ireland. The dispute continues.
In the dispute over illegal state aid for Apple, the European Commission has now closed its case against Ireland. Apple had previously transferred the required amount of 13.1 billion euros (plus an additional 1.2 billion euros in interest). This payment compensates for the distortion of competition, as the Commission announced on Thursday. The billion-euro amount is currently on a trust account, as both Apple and the Irish government have filed an appeal against the additional payment and the process is still running.
Ireland is investing billions – but it does not want to
In October 2017, EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager complained that Ireland had recovered the funds “not even partially” from Apple even more than a year after the adoption of the Commission’s decision . While it is understood that billions of dollars in recovery may be “more complex,” Member States need to “make sufficient progress toward restoring competition,” Vestager said when filing the lawsuit.
Ireland has received the full amount from Apple, Ireland’s Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said last month. As a member of the European Union, it was committed to recover the “alleged state aid”, even if the government continued to “annul” the Commission’s decision, the Finance Minister stressed.
EU: Illegal state aid, Apple boss: “Political shit”
In 2016, after several years of auditing, European competition authorities came to the conclusion that the tax arrangements between Apple and Ireland were to be considered as “inadmissible State aid”. The group had to pay considerably less than the usual tax rate of 12.5 percent.
Apple insists that the Commission made “serious mistakes” in the review. Apple’s “development and commercialization of intellectual property” is “controlled and managed” by the US, the profits are therefore attributable to the home country of the company and not Ireland, according to the Group. The usually considered Apple boss Tim Cook evaluated the required additional tax payment two years ago without further ado as “political shit”.