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Apple turns down invite to EU hearing
Apple has declined an invitation to attend a European Union parliamentary hearing on Friday about tax evasion, saying it does not want to prejudice its appeal of an EU order to pay millions in back taxes.
The European Council, the union's executive branch, ordered Apple to repay Ireland $15.3 billion for what it decided was an unfair tax arrangement. Both Apple and Ireland are appealing the decision, arguing that the arrangement was entirely fair and legal.
"It is important to ensure public commentary does not prejudice those proceedings," Apple's senior director of European government affairs wrote in a letter to the European Parliament committee presiding over the hearing, according to Reuters.
In the letter, Apple declined the chance to attend.
"Since the appeal is ongoing and likely to be heard at the General Court in the near future we will not be able to participate in a public hearing on this topic as it could be detrimental to the proceedings at the Court and any potential appeals thereafter," Thwaites wrote.
The EU first began pushing Ireland to recover the tax money in 2016, and last year sued the country for its delay. Competition authorities for the EU urged Apple on Friday to pay back the sum quickly so the EU could end its lawsuit, Reuters reports.
Apple made its first payment of 1.5 billion euros last month.