Apple wins fight against $15 bln EU tax order

Apple has won its appeal against a $15 billion EU tax bill (July 15).

The European Commission ruled four years ago that Apple benefited from illegal Irish state aid, and that it owed billions in back taxes going back more than two decades.

In 2014, the tax rate paid was said to be as low as 0.005%.

But on Wednesday (July 15), the bloc's General Court annulled the decision.

It said the Commission's case did 'not succeed' in reaching the required legal standard - referring, here, to EU competition rules.

That's a big defeat for Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

She has made tax crackdowns a centerpiece of her time in office.

After Wednesday's ruling, she vowed to continue her fight against tax measures used by multinationals.

It's a win for Apple, but also for Ireland.

Dublin had also appealed against the Commission's original decision.

It wanted to protect a low tax regime that has attracted a quarter of a million multinational employees.

Video Transcript

- Apple has won its appeal against a $15 billion EU tax bill. The European Commission ruled four years ago that Apple benefited from illegal Irish state aid. And that it owed billions in back taxes, going back more than two decades.

In 2014, the tax rate paid was said to be as low as 0.005%. But on Wednesday, the bloc's general court annulled the decision. It said the Commission's case did not succeed in reaching the required legal standard, referring here to EU competition rules. That's a big defeat for competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. She has made tax crackdowns a centerpiece of her time in office. After Wednesday's ruling, she vowed to continue her fight against tax measures used by multinationals.

It's a win for Apple, but also for Ireland. Dublin had also appealed against the Commission's original decision. It wants it to protect a low tax regime that has attracted a quarter of a million multinational employees.