Apple has been ordered by EU commission to repay €13 billion in Irish tax. The decision is the culmination of a three-year investigation.
The EU Commission has ordered Ireland to recover €13 billion in back taxes from Apple which is the largest penalty EU fine to date, smashing the €1.4 billion levied against French energy giant EDF in 2015.
The EU Commission started to look into Apple’s Irish tax rate in 2014, so the decision is the culmination of a three-year investigation.
The Commission concluded that Apple received “illegal state aid” from Ireland that allowed the computer maker to unfairly reduce its tax bill in a way not available to other companies.
The EU’s decision is likely to aggravate trans-Atlantic tensions over the investigations into tax deals brokered between U.S. multinational corporations and individual European countries.
Analysts have said they expect the EU commission to require Apple to pay back anywhere between $200 million and as much as $19 billion, depending on the EU’s line of argument in its final decision.
Ireland previously has said it was confident its tax arrangements with Apple didn’t breach EU rules, and it would defend “all aspects” of the case vigorously, in court if necessary.