Apple’s tax practices in Europe have been the subject of investigation for some time now. However, European Union regulators say they’ll finally have a conclusion as to the question of whether Apple benefited from “illegal tax sweeteners” by the end of this year.
According to Ireland’s finance minister Michael Noonan, the decision will be announced, “between now and Christmas.”
Apple is one of several multinational companies having their European tax affairs examined by E.U. antitrust regulators. The concern is not simply the fact that the companies may not have paid enough tax, but that the so-called “sweetheart deals” give them an unfair, illegal advantage over rivals.
Last month, Starbucks and Fiat Chrysler were found to have benefited from such deals, and will now have to repay tens of millions of euros. Michael Noonan hasn’t commented on how the decision will affect Ireland, but notes that the country will, “deal with that when the announcement comes.”