The European Union antitrust regulators ordered Apple to pay up to $14.5 billion in taxes plus interest to the Irish government. Bobbi Rebell reports.
The European Union antitrust regulators ruled that Apple received illegal state aid, and ordered it to pay up to 13 billion euros, or $14.5 billion in unpaid taxes plus interest to the Irish government. At the heart of the matter: the EU believes sweetheart tax deals help divert investment and jobs away from countries where it would normally go. So, Ireland isn't paying fair allowing Apple to pay tax rates that have at times been less than one percent. Apple and Dublin will appeal the decision and say the company's tax treatment was in line with Irish and European Union law. Euan Rellie, senior managing director at BDA Partners is skeptical. (SOUNDBITE) EUAN RELLIE, SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR, BDA PARTNERS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Apple's chances are very low. Apple is gonna have to pay some tax, and, I think, there is a huge pressure now around the world on big corporations to be seen to be doing their share. Whether or not they undertook valid - in their mind - valid tax avoidance measures, there's huge political pressure on them now." The ruling also drew criticism from the US. A U.S. Treasury spokesperson warned the move threatens to undermine U.S. investment in Europe and "the important spirit of economic partnership between the U.S. and the EU". Other U.S. firms are under fire from European regulators. Amazon and McDonald's are facing probes over taxes in Luxembourg. Starbucks has been ordered to pay up to $33 million to the Netherlands. The case is expected to drag on for years in EU and possibly Irish courts.