EU will drop lawsuit against Ireland after Apple pays $16.7 billion in back taxes

EU will drop lawsuit against Ireland after Apple pays $16.7 billion in back taxes
© Getty Images

The European Union is planning to drop its lawsuit against Ireland over back taxes from Apple after the country announced that it had collected $16.7 billion from the company.

Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s top competition regulator, sued Ireland last year for failing to collect the sum, a year after she had ruled that Apple was receiving illegal tax benefits.

“In light of the full payment by Apple of the illegal State aid it had received from Ireland, Commissioner Vestager will be proposing to the College of Commissioners the withdrawal of this court action,” Ricardo Cardoso, a spokesman for the commission, said in an email to The Hill.

An Apple spokesman did not respond when asked for comment. The company and Ireland are appealing Vestager’s ruling and the funds will be held in escrow during the process.

“While the Government fundamentally disagrees with the Commission’s analysis in the Apple State Aid decision and is seeking an annulment of that decision in the European Courts, as committed members of the European Union, we have always confirmed that we would recover the alleged State Aid,” Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said in a statement.

“We have demonstrated this with the recovery of the alleged State Aid which will be held in the Escrow Fund pending the outcome of the appeal process before the European Courts,” he added.

Though Vestager had filed the lawsuit in October 2017, Apple did not make its first payment until May of this year.