EU Seeks to Overturn $15.8 Billion Apple Tax Ruling, Calls it ‘Contradictory’

The European Union is seeking to overturn Apple’s victory in a 13 billion-euro ($15.8 billion) (roughly Rs. 1,15 lakh crore) tax dispute, saying judges used “contradictory reasoning” when they found that the company’s Irish units weren’t liable for huge payments. A summary of the appeal published Monday shows the EU’s determination to challenge the critical July court judgment. The decision was a dramatic setback to Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s probes of national tax rulings that she says were an illegal subsidy for some large multinational firms.

Slapping Apple with a multi-billion order in 2016 was a landmark case for Vestager, showing she had no fear of upsetting the world’s most valuable tech company or the US Treasury. The move helped fuel an EU push to close tax loopholes that allowed some multinational companies to legally pay less tax in Europe.

The EU said that the lower court improperly conflated Apple’s lack of employees at two Irish units and the company’s level of responsibility for intellectual property on iPhone and iPad sales across Europe. Judges failed to properly weigh the EU’s analysis of the Irish branches and showed “contradictory reasoning” in a separate part of their findings.

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