“Apple’s Italian subsidiary has agreed to pay €318m (£235m; $348m) following an investigation into tax fraud allegations, Italy’s tax office says. Italy’s tax authorities say the company failed to pay €880m in tax between 2008 and 2013, according to La Repubblica,” BBC News reports. “The settlement follows an investigation by prosecutors in Milan.”

“The US tech giant has not commented on the deal. It has previously denied attempting to escape paying tax owed on profits made around the world,” The Beeb reports. “Apple Italia is part of the company’s European operation which is headquartered in Ireland, a country with one of the lowest levels of corporation tax in the EU.”

“Apple’s European operations have been headquartered in Cork since 1980. The company is expanding its workforce there to 6,000 and it has been joined in Ireland by other US tech firms including Twitter, Microsoft and Google,” The Beeb reports. “The company’s chief executive, Tim Cook, has rejected accusations that the firm has been sidestepping US taxes by stashing cash overseas, insisting: ‘We pay every tax dollar we owe.’ Mr Cook said on a visit to Ireland in November that he was confident the Dublin government and his company would be found to have done nothing wrong.”

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“Italian media reported earlier this year that Apple Italia “transferred” €879 million of profit earned in Italy between 2008 and 2013 to Cork-based Apple Sales International, in order to avail of Ireland’s lower corporate tax rate (12.5 per cent as opposed to 43-44 per cent),” The Irish Times reports. “Following a raid on Apple Italia’s Milan headquarters in 2013, investigators in Italy said they had documentation that proved the scheme by which Apple Italia redirected proceeds from its Italian sales to Apple Ireland was illegal. Apple Italia was reportedly listed as a ‘consultant’ for Apple Ireland, thus enabling the US colossus to transfer its Italian earnings to Ireland.”

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MacDailyNews Take: This sets a precedent which could prompt a parade of countries to “investigate” Apple hoping for a large payment. Who’ll be be next piggy at the trough?