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EU reopens Apple ‘tax-dodging’ case

The lawsuit is part of the bloc’s antitrust crackdown on so-called ‘sweetheart’ deals for multinationals

An EU tribunal made legal errors when it ruled in favor of US tech giant Apple in a €13 billion ($14 billion) tax case, an adviser to the bloc’s top court stated on Thursday, as reported by Reuters.

According to EU Court of Justice (CJEU) advocate general Giovanni Pitruzzella, judges should set aside the General Court ruling and refer the case back to the lower tribunal.

The General Court had failed “to assess correctly the substance and consequences of certain methodological errors that, according to the Commission decision, vitiated the tax rulings,” Pitruzzella said.

In a landmark decision in 2020, the EU’s General Court sided with Apple, effectively annulling the European Commission’s declaration that the US company had been granted an economic advantage via Irish tax laws.


READ MORE: EU challenges court ruling allowing Apple to avoid paying $15bn tax bill

The ruling was a blow to European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who in 2016 had ordered the tech giant to repay €13 billion in unpaid taxes to Ireland, after the country allegedly granted “undue benefits” to the firm.

Both Apple and Ireland have contested the claims. The tech giant insisted it never asked for special treatment, while accusing the EU of trying to rewrite history. Apple CEO Tim Cook described the scandal as “total political crap.” 

The CJEU is expected to rule on the case in the coming months, according to Reuters.

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