By Roger Fingas
Friday, June 1, 2018, 06:22 a.m. PT (09:22 a.m. ET)
Apple rejected an invitation to speak before a committee of the European Parliament, seeking to avoid any error that might affect their chances of appealing a previous decision.
"It is important to make sure that public comments do not undermine those procedures," Apple's director of European government affairs said in a letter from Friday seen by Reuters . "Since the appeal is ongoing and is likely to be heard in the General Court in the near future, we will not be able to participate in a public hearing on this issue, as it could be detrimental to the proceedings in the Court and any potential appeals. thereafter. "
The lawmaker who shared the letter, Sven Giegold, argued that Parliament should withdraw the logos from Apple's lobby because of their refusal to appear.
Recently, the company made its first payment in an escrow account, designed to keep money in Apple's fortuitous appeals and the Irish government succeeds.
The European Commission originally ordered Ireland to collect the back taxes in August 2016, but the country failed to meet the January 2017 deadline and has been threatened with legal action for its slow progress. On Friday, the Commission reiterated its position that it is willing to withdraw a claim once the money has been fully collected.
The 2016 decision, issued after a lengthy investigation, revealed that Ireland had extended preferential tax treatment to Apple, considered illegal state aid under European law It is said that the company paid 1 percent of international profits channeled in 2003, and only 0.005 percent in 2014.
Apple and the Irish government have denied having committed any fault, the first insisting on multiple occasions that it simply follows local laws. However, at the time of the ruling, Ireland was famous for its tax loopholes, and the government has been accused of reverse engineering rules on the fly to keep Apple happy.
Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has suggested that appeals could be heard in the fall.