Monday 20 November 2017

Government expects EU verdict on Apple by July

EC commissioner Margrethe Vestager
EC commissioner Margrethe Vestager

Colm Kelpie in Luxembourg

The Irish Government has no firm information on when the European Commission will rule on the Apple case, but speculation and "rumour" is that it could be next month, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said.

Speaking ahead of a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg, Mr Noonan said the Government has cooperated fully and that the Department of Finance and Revenue Commissioners have provided all requested data.

The Minister said there had been speculation that a decision could come next month. But he added: "That's speculation and rumour. There may be [a decision] before the summer but we're not sure."

A decision was initially due before the end of last year.

The case has been running since 2014.

In April, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said it was difficult to say when the case would be ready for a decision.

Brussels has accused Ireland of striking a tax arrangement with Apple that was based on keeping jobs here but which gave the company an advantage that amounted to state aid and went against international guidelines.

Michael Noonan has repeatedly said Ireland has done nothing wrong, and any negative decision will be fought in the courts.

In October, the Commission announced in a separate state aid ruling that tax advantages granted to Fiat in Luxembourg and to Starbucks in The Netherlands were illegal.

Irish Independent

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