Apple’s July court triumph over a massive European Union tax grab is forcing antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager to make a tough choice: Challenge a ruling that faulted the EU investigation or accept judges’ criticisms and re-examine a case started more than six years ago.
The EU targeted big names, triggering changes to taxation across Europe. The 13 billion-euro ($15.4 billion) demand for Apple was its crowning achievement.
“The European Commission may very likely appeal the judgment of the General Court in the Apple case, if only to save face,” said Howard Liebman, a tax attorney with Jones Day in Brussels. “It will be a very rough row to hoe, given the very detailed and fact-oriented decision“ from the EU’s second-highest tribunal.
If Vestager opts to fight on at the EU Court of Justice, the bloc’s top tribunal, she risks overlooking criticism that the EU failed to prove “to the requisite legal standard” that Ireland’s tax deal broke state-aid law by giving the iPhone maker an unfair advantage.
The commission, the EU’s executive arm, has already had to re-investigate some 40 probes following court decisions that picked apart its findings.
MacDailyNews Take: Miraculously, justice has been served. Give it up, Margrethe.
A company’s business success, regardless of degree, doesn’t mean some quasi-governmental political confederation headed by a dingbat gets to retroactively grab whatever sum they want. – MacDailyNews, July 15, 2020
The dunce Vestager is out of her depth.
Is Ireland its own country or merely a vassal state to a quasi-governmental political confederation that’s already been hit with one very significant defection?
The EU’s retroactive tax grab is a farce. — MacDailyNews, October 4, 2017
I think that Apple was targeted here. And I think that (anti-US sentiment) is one reason why we could have been targeted. People in leadership positions in several countries tell me that this is the agenda. I don’t know where that comes from. But what I feel strongly about is that this decision was politically based, of that I’m very confident. There is no reason for it in fact or in law… At a worldwide level, Apple pays income tax of 26.1 percent… I’d be the first to say that the tax system needs to be reformed and that it should be made simple and straightforward. But it should be talked about going forward, not in a way that retrofits the law to what others wish it was. It’s patently unfair and not what you expect from a developed country that has a history of rule and law. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, September 1, 2016