Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 30th Sep 2014 09:20 UTC

We already reported on this one yesterday, but it's official now: after a preliminary investigation, the EU has accused Ireland of providing illegal state aid to Apple by means of Apple-specific low tax rates which the EU states do not conform to market standards. In addition, while there are certain specific cases in which state aid is legal, none of those seem to apply in this case. These cases cover things like aid to severely impoverished regions, natural disaster relief, important projects of common European interest, and similar things.

At this stage, the Commission considers that the measure at issue appears to constitute a reduction of charges that should normally be borne by the entities concerned in the course of their business, and should therefore be considered as operating aid. According to the Commission practice, such aid cannot be considered compatible with the internal market in that it does not facilitate the development of certain activities or of certain economic areas, nor are the incentives in question limited in time, digressive or proportionate to what is necessary to remedy to a specific economic handicap of the areas concerned.

Possible fines, which could run in the billions of euros, would be on Apple. So, unlike what some of our readers vehemently claimed - "There is no possibility of a fine upon Apple whatsoever" - Apple could very well end up paying billions of euros.

The Commission wishes to remind Ireland that Article 108(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union has suspensory effect, and would draw your attention to Article 14 of Council Regulation (EC) No 659/199935, which provides that all unlawful aid may be recovered from the recipient.

This is only the beginning. Several other companies and countries - Google, Starbucks, The Netherlands, Luxembourg - are also under investigation, and will likely face similar proceedings in the near future.

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Member since:

Ireland takes EU money (mainly agricultural subsidies) and bribes foreign companies to set up in Ireland. Ireland have been operating this scam for decades. Without the EU subsidies Ireland would resemble Romania or Bulgaria.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Wondercool Member since:

This is factually false. Ireland spends more on the EU than it receives.

For instance even Wikipedia has figures on this:

And if you refer to the EU bailout after the financial crisis happened in 2007: this is a money maker for the European bankers, all the billions lend to Ireland carry a high interest rate, all that money has to be repaid with little risk to the money lenders. Or do you think that money was free??

Reply Parent Score: 3

unclefester Member since:

This is factually false. Ireland spends more on the EU than it receives.

Ireland was destitute when it joined the EU in 1973. It took 20 years of milking EU subsidies to become prosperous.

The EU has sucked in so many destitute countries (Greece, Iceland, Portugal, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Poland etc) since then it would be virtually impossible for Ireland not to be a net wealth contributor.

Reply Parent Score: 2