The General Court of the European Union annulled a 2016 European Commission (EC) decision to charge Apple €13 billion in back taxes, after ruling the EC was incorrect in concluding the company received illegal benefits in the Republic of Ireland.

In a statement, the court noted the EC “did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard” that Apple subsidiaries incorporated in Ireland gained “a selective economic advantage and, by extension state aid”.

Apple told Mobile World Live the case “was not about how much tax we pay, but where we are required to pay it”.

The company highlighted it had “paid more than $100 billion” in corporate income tax and “tens of billions” in other taxes globally in the last decade, and said it spent more than €13 billion with 4,500 European suppliers in 2019, in turn supporting 1.8 million jobs.

Ireland’s Department of Finance stated the country had “always been clear that there was no special treatment provided” to Apple.

EC VP and Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said it “will carefully study the judgment and reflect on possible next steps”.

Apple began appeal proceedings in September 2019, when it labelled the EC’s ruling “fundamentally flawed”.