The EU General Court strikes down the Commission’s decision ordering Ireland to recover €13 billion from a big tech company for illegal State aid (Apple)

On July 15, 2020, the European Union’s second- highest court, the General Court (the “Court”), annulled the 2016 decision of the European Commission (the “Commission”) ordering Ireland to recover €13 billion (€14.3 billion with interest) in back-taxes from Apple which the Commission considered to be illegal State aid. [1] The Court ruled that the Commission had not proven to the required standard that Ireland had granted any selective advantage to Apple. [2] The Apple judgment, which annuls the Commission’s largest ever State aid recovery order, follows a similar annulment in Starbucks in 2019 [3] and represents a further setback to Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s strategy of using EU Sate aid rules to target what are perceived to be sweetheart tax deals given to multinational

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Authors

  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)

Quotation

Sean Mernagh, Richard Sultman, François-Charles Laprévote, The EU General Court strikes down the Commission’s decision ordering Ireland to recover €13 billion from a big tech company for illegal State aid (Apple), 15 July 2020, e-Competitions Tax rulings, Art. N° 96013

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