The EU may drop legal action against the Republic of Ireland after Apple paid €14.3 billion to comply with a 2016 regulatory order stating the country must recover tax benefits offered to the iPhone maker which were deemed illegal.
“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,” European Commission (EC) representative Ricardo Cardoso told Reuters in an emailed statement.
The legal action related to a 2016 EC ruling that Ireland breached EU state aid rules by allowing Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses Both parties had appealed the decision, however in October 2017 the case was referred to the European Court of Justice.
When the money was recovered, Ireland’s Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said: “While the government fundamentally disagrees with the Commission’s analysis and is seeking an annulment of that decision, as committed members of the European Union, we have always confirmed that we would recover the alleged state aid”.
The ministry added the funds had been placed into escrow and would be released only when there has been a final court decision.
It said it has made an appeal “in the form of an application to the General Court of the European Union, asking it to annul the decision of the Commission,” adding that the case has been granted priority status.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back