What you need to know
- A court ruled in July that Apple did not in fact owe Ireland $15 billion in taxes.
- The EU is now set to appeal this case.
- The Commission will argue that a previous court set the bar "unreasonably high" with regard to state aid cases.
Update: This story has been updated with confirmation of the EU's appeal, and a statement from Executive VP of the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager, as well as reaction from the Irish government, and a statement from Apple.
The European Commission is set to lodge an appeal against a court ruling which quashed a demand that Apple pay Ireland nearly $15 billion in taxes, over claims that Apple had an unfair tax arrangement in company tantamount to state aid.
In a statement, Friday, Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager stated:
In July, a court ruled that an EU bill for $14.9 billion was not appropriate, and overturned the decision. The Commission had previously argued that Apple's tax arrangements in Ireland basically amounted to state aid and that Apple in fact owed Ireland a huge sum of money. In its previous ruling the court stated:
Friday was the last day that the European Commission could appeal the ruling. According to reports, Vestager has been fervently pushing for an appeal in internal meetings. The statement continues:
"The General Court categorically annulled the Commission's case in July and the facts have not changed since then." An Apple spokesperson said, "This case has never been about how much tax we pay, rather where we are required to pay it. We will review the Commission's appeal when we receive it, however it will not alter the factual conclusions of the General Court, which prove that we have always abided by the law in Ireland, as we do everywhere we operate."
In a response to the appeal, the Irish government stated:
It won't be an easy task for the Commission to get a court to overturn the ruling. The appeal will be limited to points of law, rather than any facts that took place in the case. As noted by mobile litigation expert Florian Mueller:
A ruling in the case is likely years away. The money in question is currently held in an escrow account whilst the case is decided, which means Apple won't have to write a massive check if the ruling was to go against the company. You can read the full statement here.
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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