Apple wins EU court fight over $14.9b tax bill


Apple Inc. won its court fight over a record 13 billion-euro ($14.9 billion) Irish tax bill in a crushing blow to European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s crackdown on preferential fiscal deals to selected companies.

The EU General Court sided with the iPhone maker, saying the European Commission failed to show Ireland’s tax arrangements with the company were illegal state aid. The decision can be appealed.

The court said the EU authority “did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard that there was an advantage.”

The Apple case is the hallmark of Vestager’s five-year campaign to get rid of allegedly unfair tax deals that some EU governments dole out to favored multinationals including the likes of Inc. Apple’s fury at its 2016 tax bill led Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook to blast the EU move as “total political crap.”

Apple said in an emailed statement that it welcomed the ruling.

The cases are: T-778/16, Ireland v. Commission, T-892/16, Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe v. Commission.