“When I described the European Commission as a ‘premier source of fake news’ in yesterday’s post, I knew from a Bloomberg tweet that the Commission’s €13B ‘state aid’ decision on Apple’s Irish taxes was going to be published before the Holiday Season but didn’t know that today was going to be the day,” Florian Mueller writes for FOSS Patents. “In order to counterbalance Commissioner Vestager’s claims, the Irish government and Apple have just launched pre-emptive strikes.”
“Apple’s General Counsel Bruce Sewell and Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri gave Reuters’ Brussels competition expert Foo Yun Chee (a reporter I’ve been in contact with for many years and whom I regard as very thorough and objective) an interview in Cupertino,” Mueller writes. “Apple’s executives pointed out, among many other things, that their Irish operation ‘doesn’t do any engineering, doesn’t generate any intellectual property.'”
“In parallel to the Reuters interview, Apple’s CFO also gave an interview in Cupertino to Die Welt, a well-respected German newspaper that belongs to Europe’s largest newspaper publisher, the Axel Springer group. That interview has only been published in German, so let me translate Mr. Maestri’s strongest statement here: Maestri accuses EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager of pursuing a political agenda. “What the Commission is doing here is a disgrace for European citizens, it should be ashamed.”,” Mueller writes. “Mr. Maestri, an Italian, is a European citizen himself. This statement is similarly tough as Apple CEO Tim Cook’s initial reaction to the decision, calling it ‘total political crap.'”
“In the Die Welt article, Mr. Maestri then argues that Europe’s economy will suffer massive harm at the end of the day, given that many companies must make decision on where to set up research and development,” Mueller writes. “And in light of how the Commission is dealing with Apple, they may prefer such places as Singpore or Hong Kong.”
Read more in the full article – highly recommended – here.
MacDailyNews Take: Mueller’s take on this is exactly right. The whole piece is worth the read.
As we wrote earlier today: Now, to be fair, this is only because poor Margrethe is an idiot politician. Go back to Denmark, you’re in over your head – unless your agenda is to destroy the EU from the inside out, in which case: Carry on, you’re doing a hell of a job!
Anyone who decides to set up a business in a European Union vassal state today is insane.
Ireland accuses EU of exceeding power in Apple tax grab – December 19, 2016
Apple formally appeals EU tax grab this week, says company was a ‘convenient target’ – December 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
Irish government to fight EU on Apple tax – September 2, 2016
Treasury accuses EU of trying to steal U.S. tax revenues with Apple decision – September 1, 2016
Irish residents opposed to EU’s tax demand of Apple – September 1, 2016
Apple Inc. pushes back against EU tax grab – September 1, 2016
Apple may repatriate billions of dollars next year after new U.S. President takes office – September 1, 2016
U.S. tax code allows for dramatic retaliation against EU overreach in Apple case – September 1, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook on EU tax demand: ‘No one did anything wrong here and Ireland is being picked on… It is total political crap’ – September 1, 2016
U.S. Treasury: The European Commission’s retroactive tax demands on Apple are unfair – August 30, 2016
EU demands Apple pay massive $14.5 billion in taxes plus interest – August 30, 2016
U.S. government warns EU: Do not hit Apple with a massive back tax bill – or else – August 25, 2016