Apple may have to pay back millions of dollars it received in ‘state aid’ from the Irish Government, if it is ruled illegal under EU law.

The European Commission has issued a preliminary report on ‘sweetheart deals’ which saw the Cupertino company base its international headquarters in Cork.

Launching a formal investigation, the EU said the deals, the first of which ran between 1991 and 2007, constituted ‘state aid.’ Under EU law, if state aid interferes with competition in the free internal European market, it’s illegal. EU competition commissioner, Joaquín Almunia said today: ‘the Commission has doubts about the compatibility of such state aid with the internal market [in the EU].’

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Thumbnail image for Latest Issue: October 2014

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