“Apple has announced the founding of its first European center for the development of iOS software in the southern city of Naples, a move seen in Italy as a new front in its war against a wave of European tax probes,” Eric J. Lyman reports for USA Today. “Apple CEO Tim Cook personally announced the plan Friday in Rome, saying the company was ‘thrilled to be helping the next generation of entrepreneurs in Italy get the skills they need for success.'”
“Cook came to Italy from Brussels, where he lobbied European officials as the prospect of a $19 billion tax bill loomed. European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is looking into the legality of Apple paying most of its European taxes in Ireland, a low-tax jurisdiction,” Lyman reports. “Just three weeks before Cook landed in Rome, Apple settled a tax investigation in Italy in terms Italian media described as favorable to the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant: The Italian government said Apple underpaid taxes for the 2008-2013 period by $958 million and Apple agreed to pay $346 million.”
“A few weeks before the announcement of the Italian settlement, Cook dismissed the investigation as ‘political crap’ and promised ‘Apple pays every tax dollar’ it owes,” Lyman reports. “‘What is most interesting about the announcement is that there was no warning, it just suddenly appeared like a gift under the Christmas tree,’ Raffaele Barberio, director of Key4biz, a leading telecommunications and technology information site, said in an interview… But the plans for the center were painted only in broad strokes. The company did not say when it would open. It says Apple will work with a ‘partner institution’ in Naples but doesn’t identify the partner. There is no indication how much money will be invested in the new center. And there is no explanation why Apple selected Naples, a city known for security problems, a lack of high-speed Internet connections and no major high-tech presence.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote the day the plans for an iOS development center in Naples was announced:
And, of course, this has nothing whatsoever to do with corporate tax avoidance investigations (wink, wink).
In Italy, one hand washes the other, capiche?
Apple opening Europe’s first iOS app development center in Italy – January 21, 2016
Apple may face $8 billion bill for back taxes after European Commission probe – January 15, 2016
Apple to pay $348 million to settle Italy tax fraud case – December 30, 2015