European Union appeals in $15 billion tax battle with Apple

European Union appeals in $15 billion tax battle with Apple

The European Union is taking its fight to get $15 billion in back taxes from Apple to the continent’s highest court, officials said Friday.

The European Commission said it will appeal a July ruling from the EU’s General Court that found insufficient evidence that Apple got unfair tax breaks from the Irish government.

The commission will bring the case to the European Court of Justice because the lower court’s ruling both raised important legal issues and contained “a number of errors of law,” competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

“Making sure that all companies, big and small, pay their fair share of tax remains a top priority for the commission,” Vestager said in a statement. “… If member states give certain multinational companies tax advantages not available to their rivals, this harms fair competition in the European Union in breach of state aid rules.”

The July ruling was a win for Apple, which the European Commission accused in 2016 of artificially reducing its tax burden with allegedly illegal benefits from Ireland, a nation known as a corporate tax haven.

Ireland had appealed the commission’s initial decision alongside Apple, saying it had always been clear it had not given special treatment to the tech giant.

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