Sunday 23 October 2016

Tim Cook says internal EU bureaucracy holding back trade in bloc

Published 15/11/2015 | 10:31

Tim Cook
Tim Cook

Apple chief executive Tim Cook says that “tension” in Europe over EU bureaucracy is holding back trade here.

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Cook told that Europe’s internal machinations sometimes makes it harder to do business in the large trading bloc.

“I think that it’s important that Europe becomes clearer of what should be done centrally by the EU and what should be done in the country,” he said. “I sense more tension in that regard today than before. So I would hope that that would be sorted out for the best of Europe. Europe has great growth potential if that is sorted out.”

Apple is currently awaiting a decision from the European Commission on whether Ireland gave it illegal state aid through the country’s taxation regime. If the Commission finds against Ireland, the tech giant may find itself having to pay Ireland millions, or even billions, in back taxes.

However, Cook said that an adverse decision would be appealed.

“The Irish government has been clear to us that if there’s an adverse ruling they’ll appeal,” he said.

He also denied that Apple ever benefitted from special tax treatment.

“Our advisers have looked at it and they’re very clear there was no special deal,” he said. “And I have every faith that the system, either initially or eventually, will find the same.”

Cook says that he’s “optimistic” that Europe will see growth in future.

“From a skills point of view, a developer point of view and a starting companies point of view, there are many countries here that are excellent at all three or some subset of those things,” he said.

“And it’s a great market. So I’m optimistic.”

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