Apple wins EU court fight over tax order
Europe’s second-highest court on Wednesday rejected an EU order for Apple to pay 13 billion euros ($15 billion) in Irish back taxes, dealing a blow to the bloc’s attempts to crack down on sweetheart tax deals.
"COMMISSION FAILED TO SHOW TO THE REQUISITE LEGAL STANDARD"
In its order four years ago, the European Commission said Apple benefited from illegal state aid via two Irish tax rulings that artificially reduced its tax burden for over two decades - to as low as 0.005 percent in 2014.
“The General Court annuls the contested decision because the Commission did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard that there was an advantage for the purposes of Article 107(1) TFEU1,” judges said, referring to EU competition rules.
It says the Commission failed to show "to the requisite legal standard" that Apple enjoyed preferential treatment which amounted to illegal State aid.
The defeat for European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager could weaken or delay pending cases against Ikea’s and Nike’s (NKE.N) deals with the Netherlands, as well as Huhtamaki’s agreement with Luxembourg.