“Apple Inc. is battling the European Commission’s call to fork over €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in back taxes without the army of lobbyists and public relations campaigners typical in such fights,” Natalia Drozdiak reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The iPhone maker spent less than €900,000 in 2015 to lobby the EU institutions and doesn’t employ any full-time lobbyists here; only five people work part-time, according to public filings. By contrast, Alphabet Inc.’s Google spent at least €4.25 million last year and employs more than 10 people.”
“Apple was unsuccessful in gathering information over the last two years from the commission about the evolving theory the EU was resting its case on, said people familiar with the matter,” Drozdiak reports. “The EU recently surpassed the U.S. in terms of the number of registered organizations lobbying its institutions, according to Transparency International. As of Sept. 7, the EU registered 9,756 organizations, compared with 9,726 in the U.S.”
“Some chief executives, including Apple’s Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, have made the trek to Brussels to clarify their positions directly with the EU’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager,” Drozdiak reports. “A top Google executive recently stressed the importance of ‘educating’” EU lawmakers about how the company works.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Sounds like a vestige of the Steve Jobs era where Apple had nary a presence in Washington D.C., either.
Money makes D.C. – and the E.C. – go ’round.
Apple boosts U.S. federal government lobbying efforts by 16% in Q1 – April 22, 2015
Apple steps up lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. – May 24, 2013
Apple is taking a bruising in Washington D.C. as lobbying effort has yet to ripen – May 9, 2012
With antitrust mutters growing, Apple triples federal lobbying expenses, boosts D.C. presence – April 9, 2011
Apple hires new D.C. lobbyists, former G. W. Bush staffers to influence U.S. federal government – February 5, 2011
Ireland’s Finance Minister Noonan: Apple tax appeal may take four years, maybe more – September 23, 2016
Apple’s EU tax nemesis Margrethe Vestager takes aim at other U.S. companies’ offshore profits – September 19, 2016
The ‘Brexit-Apple’ connection: What in the world was Margrethe Vestager thinking? – September 12, 2016
EU ministers line up to take tax bites out of Apple – September 12, 2016
Former EU competition commissioner: Vestager claim that Apple owes back taxes an incorrect use of EU law – September 2, 2016