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Apple ruling: Tax battle is 'a marathon not a sprint,' says EU's competition chief Vestager

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By Joanna Gill
Margrethe Vestager, the EU's competition chief
Margrethe Vestager, the EU's competition chief   -   Copyright  AP Photos

Apple's win over the EU won't stop officials probing tax deals, says the EU's competition chief Margrethe Vestager.

Brussels was dealt a blow on Wednesday when the union's second-highest court ruled the tech giant did not have to pay €13 billion in Irish back taxes.

"We will decide on [the] next steps once we have concluded our assessment of the judgement," said Vestager, also the European Commission's vice president. "But one thing is clear, the fight against aggressive tax planning is a marathon, this is not a sprint, and this marathon well, it does take place on very hilly grounds." 

Four years ago the Brussels ordered Apple to pay back taxes to Ireland saying it had benefitted from illegal state aid under two Irish tax rulings.

It may be a case of losing the battle to win the war.

On Wednesday, the European Commission announced a raft of new measures to counter corporate tax evasion, in a bid to shore up the bloc's economy from the coronavirus economic downturn.