The European Commission orders Apple to pay up to 13 billion euros in back taxes to Ireland. Hayley Platt reports.
Apple receives a severe bruising from the European Commission. It's been ordered to pay up to 13 billion euros or $14.5 billion in back taxes to the Irish government - 40 times more than any previous known demand for such a case. It follows an inquiry launched by the EU in June 2014 - following another by the US Senate. At the centre of the inquiry - whether Ireland gave Apple special tax deals. The message from the commission was clear. (SOUNDBITE) (English) COMPETITION COMMISSION, MARGRETHE VESTAGER, SAYING: "Member states cannot give unfair tax benefits to selected companies." Both Apple and the Irish government deny any wrong doing. It goes back to an arrangement made in the 1990s between the pair. In June 2014 Apple paid less than 1 percent tax on its European profits and only 1 percent in 2003, the Commission says. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS, EUROPEAN CORPORATE STRATEGY CORRESPONDENT, TOM BERGIN, SAYING: "It can channel its profits from all over the world, outside of the United States into Ireland and there it can be earned tax free." Apple responded saying the European Commission has chosen to ignore Ireland's tax laws in an effort to rewrite the company's history. It believes jobs and investment will be harmed. Even some analysts could sympathise with Apple's predicament (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "So it's really Ireland who have made the mistake here, obviously under agreement with Apple, but this is a situation which perhaps the Competition Commission is overstepping its grounds here and creating an uncertain precedent for doing business in Europe." Apple employs 5,500 in Ireland - around a quarter of its Europe-based staff. It says it will appeal the Commission's decision.