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EU probes Ireland over 'illegal state aid' for Apple

EU probes Ireland over 'illegal state aid' for Apple
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The European Commission’s Competition Commissioner is launching an in-depth inquiry into tax arrangements reached by Apple with Ireland and Luxembourg’s dealings with FIAT.

Joaquin Almunia wants explanations from Dublin over fiscal accords made with the US firm between 1990 and 2007 which may infringe rules on state aid.

The Commission believes the subsequent tax arrangements had no “scientific basis” but helped the iPhone maker save tens of billions of euros in tax; money which it could in theory be forced to repay.

Luxembourg is also being investigated over a deal it allegedly cut with a subsidiary of Fiat. It is alleged the agreement allowed the Italian car giant to attract investment for jobs.

The Commission claims Luxembourg authorities have provided insufficient information, an embarrassment for incoming EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, who was prime minister of the country at the time the arrangement with Fiat was reached.