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EU commissioner Vestager defends Apple tax ruling

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EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager has defended the decision to order technology giant Apple to pay €13bn (£11bn) in back taxes to the Irish government.

Addressing the European Parliament during a debate on the Apple tax ruling, Vestager said the European Commission would defend its ruling that the tax arrangements between Apple and the Irish authorities amounted to illegal state aid.

“If taxes are not being paid by some, then they have to be paid by others, and that is why it is not fair competition when some member states hand out selective tax benefits,” she said.

“We have a robust decision and we will defend it in court.”

Vestager also said she is keen to publish the specific details of the ruling

“Once agreed by Ireland, we will publish our decision for all to see and I hope that this can happen as fast as possible. The published information may also be relevant to tax authorities in other jurisdictions,” she said.

“If the US tax authorities consider that Apple should have paid a higher contribution for research and development to its US parent it could lead to a higher taxable amount in the US.”

The Irish government has labelled the ruling an attack on its tax regime and is to appeal the decision, as will Apple.

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