Last August, the European competition authorities accused the Cupertino, California based Apple of accepting state aid it deemed illegal with the tax arrangement made with Ireland, where its headquarters in Europe are based.
The multinational giant from the U.S. reportedly is launching a legal challenge this week against the EC’s decision. The EC ruled in August that Apple should have to pay back over €13 billion or $13.5 billion.
The decision was contested by the government of Ireland, who argued the EC was interfering with the country’s sovereignty.
Apple previously argued the decision by the commission was political and maddening and said it was confident that the measure would be overturned by the courts.
However, it does not seem as if the EC will back down or soften its position. An EC spokesperson on Monday said that the EC would defense the decision it handed down in court.
In addition, the Commission justified its decision through arguing Ireland did not provide a basis for the special treatment it gave Apple according to an Irish Times report on Monday.
On Monday, the commission, based in Brussels said that two rulings on taxes issued by Ireland had reduced by a significant amount the tax Apple paid dating back to 1991, in a way which did not represent any economic reality, reported the Ireland daily.
The commissioner for competition at the EC Margrethe Vestager argued that shortly after the decision was presented this past summer, the ruling had been based upon facts that showed Apple had been paying corporate tax of only 0.05%.
The battle between Apple and the EC could risk the relations between Brussels and a member state during a time that the region has a number of crises.
The government of Ireland said it was joining Apple in its appeal arguing it must protect its arrangement for corporate taxes that has helped attract a number of multinational companies to set up businesses within the country.
The finance minister for Ireland said that Apple had paid the taxes that were due for its activities in the country. The finance ministry in Ireland said on Monday the commission misunderstood the facts that were relevant as well as Irish law.
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