In 2016, Apple was ordered to pay 13 billion euros to Ireland as repayment for back taxes at a rate that the EU deemed was illegal. Both Apple and Ireland appealed the judgment.
Four years on, the first round of legal battles have come to a conclusion today: the EU court rejected the ruling which essentially means Ireland and Apple won. However, the EU commission will almost certainly appeal. A final decision on a corporate judgment of this scale will take many, many, years to resolve.
The European Union order was based on the premise that Apple’s low tax rate deal with Ireland was ‘selective’ and not offered to other companies, giving Apple an unfair advantage.
Today’s ruling said that the commission had failed to show that Apple had been granted an economic advantage. Remember, this case is about back-taxes and the low tax rate deal between Apple and Ireland was agreed more than twenty years ago, when Apple was a much smaller company.