taxing apple

Brussels Puts U.S. Companies on Notice

epa05547922 EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager speaks at a news conference in which she addressed the Apple tax case and accusations that US companies have been targeted, at the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the United States, in Washington, DC, USA, 19 September 2016. Vestager discussed the Apple tax case and accusations that she has targeted US companies. On 30 August 2016, Vestager announced Ireland gave illegal tax benefits to Apple worth up to 13 billion euros. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Margrethe Vestager, the EU commissioner for competition, faced tough talks in Washington.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Corporate America has warned that the European Commission’s decision against Apple could negatively impact investment in the European Union.

  • Facts


    • The European Commission has accused Apple of receiving illegal state aide from the Irish government and has demanded €13 billion in back taxes.
    • The U.S. Treasury Department has accused the European Union of taking U.S. tax money by going after Apple.
    • The European Commission based its case on revelations about Apple’s tax practices made during a U.S. Senate hearing.
  • Audio


  • Pdf

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.”

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.