Ireland is set to submit its formal appeal of a European Commission ruling that claimed Apple owes the country more than $14 billion in unpaid taxes.
The controversial tax ruling has been opposed by Irish citizens, a majority of whom say they don’t want Apple’s money. Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan said today that the country’s government has no choice but to appeal.
With his open letter defending Apple’s Irish tax strategy, Tim Cook positions his company as a sledgehammer-tossing freedom fighter at battle with Big Brother-style EU bureaucracy.
But unlike Cook’s previous missives on LGBT rights and the importance of privacy, this open letter seems unlikely to be met with near-unanimous support. While railing against the EU’s massive assessment of €13 billion euros in back taxes owed by Apple, Cook ignores the facts of the matter — and seems tone-deaf about painting the world’s biggest company as an underdog.
Apple has announced plans to hire an extra 1,000 employees in Ireland — as the deadline draws closer concerning the European Union announcing their decision about whether or not Apple dodged taxes thanks to the Irish government.
Apple will add 1,000 staff to its offices in Cork by mid-2017, where it currently operates the only Apple-owned manufacturing facility in the world, building Mac computers.
In a landmark decision Tuesday, the European Court of Justice ruled that European Union regulators can override the Safe Harbor agreement, a 15-year-old accord that has — until now — allowed Apple, Google, Facebook, and about 4,500 other U.S. companies to transfer data from European users to the U.S.
The court believes that the current agreement violates European citizens’ right to privacy by exposing their private data to the U.S. government through the American companies’ cooperation with U.S. intelligence agencies.
After years of examining the Android operating system, the European Commission has launched a formal antitrust investigation into claims that Google unfairly forces competitors into bundling its own apps on their devices.
Apple has today increased the annual subscription cost of its Mac and iOS Developer Programs in several countries across Europe. While the prices remain the same at $99 in the U.S., Europeans can now expect to pay anything from $96 to $121, depending on where they live.
Apple has introduced a new 14-day return window for digital purchases made in several European countries. App Store, iTunes, and iBookstore items purchased in the U.K., Germany, Italy, and France are now eligible for complete refunds, and users are not required to give a reason for returning their order.
Regulators are set to break down the reason tax deals given to Apple in Ireland violate EU laws, according to people familiar with the matter.
The European Commission began formal investigations into the tax avoidance issue back in June, and plans to publish its findings as early as today — with the claim that tax deals between Apple and the Irish government could fall under the heading of illegal state aid.
While Apple has yet to make a comment on the matter, the Irish government has spoken up; describing its position as “confident” that the Apple deal represents “no breach of state-aid rules.” It claims that it has already submitted a formal response to the European Commission, in which it addresses in detail “the concerns and some misunderstandings.”