The architect of Apple's 13 billion euro tax bill has her sights set on the App Store

Margrethe Vestager
Margrethe Vestager (Image credit: New York Times)

What you need to know

  • EU antitrust regulator Margrethe Vestager has given an interview envisioning a more aggressive agenda.
  • In an interview with the New York Times, she spoke about Apple's tax practices in Ireland.
  • She also says Apple is being questioned over how it regulates its App Store for competitors like Spotify.

The woman behind Apple's mammoth 13 billion euro tax bill has told the New York Times that her aggressive agenda of reforms hasn't finished yet.

In an interview with The New York Times Margrethe Vestager spoke about her future plans, and it seems that Apple is not out of the woods yet.

According to the report, Vestager remains set on ensuring that more companies pay more taxes in Europe, likely based on where they operate and their presence. As mentioned, Vestager was the architect of the 13 billion euro tax bill, which both Apple and the Irish government have appealed. However she still has concerns, not just over the rate at which Apple pays tax in the country, but whether the way it funnels most of its European sales through Cork is even legal at all.

She also spoke about Apple's App Store. Spotify has filed a formal complaint against Apple in Europe, arguing that Apple was giving itself "an unfair advantage at every turn." One obvious conflict of interest is the fact that Apple has its own music streaming service, Apple Music, yet it also sets the regulations to which competitors like Spotify must adhere too if they want to appear in Apple's App Store.

"Some of these platforms, they have the role both as player and referee, and how can that be fair?" she asked. "You would never accept a football match where the one team was also being the referee."

Vestager also spoke briefly about the differing attitudes to business regulation in EU and US, but the piece hinted that some American authorities were coming round to her way of thinking and that Vestager saw opportunities to collaborate.

Recently at a Web Summit in Lisbon, Margrethe Vestager told press that she has received "many expressions of concern" over Apple's practices when it comes to Apple Pay, another Apple service currently under EU scrutiny, where the EU has concerns that Apple has engaged in practices it believes to be anticompetitive.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9