The EU General Court ruled in favor of Apple and Ireland today in their appeal against a 2016 order by the European Commission over alleged state aid. In August 2016, the European Commission had ordered Ireland to recover €13.1 billion ($15.0b) plus more than €1 billion in interest payments from Apple – a ruling that both parties had appealed against.
In its ruling, the court said that “the Commission did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard that there was an advantage” and was therefore “wrong to declare that Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe had been granted a selective economic advantage and, by extension, State aid.”
The Californian tech giant has been operating in Ireland since 1980 and, like other U.S. companies with international subsidiaries, has regularly been accused of ducking foreign taxes. As the following chart shows, Apple used to pay very little foreign taxes until recently. In fiscal years 2018 and 2019, however, the company paid more taxes outside the U.S. than in the previous 15 years combined.