Margrethe Vestager didn’t come to Washington to compromise. The E.U. competition commissioner is staunchly defending Brussels’ demand that Apple pay $13 billion ($14.5 billion) in back taxes despite fierce objections from U.S. politicians and corporations.
During her visit to the U.S. capital on Monday, Ms. Vestager sought to explain the European Union’s rules on state aide to her irritated U.S. colleagues. The European Commission has accused Apple of receiving illegal aide from Ireland in the form of tax benefits.
“The rules on state aide were never a secret,” Ms. Vestager said. “The numbers and corporate structures [of Apple] were secret.”