Commission drops legal action against Ireland over Apple ‘aid’

Recovery of money draws line under European action against the State

Photograph: Eric Thayer/Getty Images

Photograph: Eric Thayer/Getty Images

 

The European Commission has dropped its legal action against Ireland over the recovery of what it deemed illegal State aid of €13 billion to Apple.

The commission said it decided to withdraw the court action following the confirmation by Ireland that the money had been paid.

The action was taken following a delay of several months in recovering the money from the tech giant. The commision had given Ireland a deadline of January 3rd 2017 to reclaim the €13 billion; it referred Ireland to the European Court of Justice on October 4th for failing to comply.

Payments commenced in May followed the signing of a legal agreement between the Government and Apple on how the escrow account will be handled. The tech giant moved bond investments rather than cash, which require careful management while they are held in the account.

Last month it was confirmed that €14.3 billion, which included interest, had been paid paid into an escrow fund, where it will be held until the final judgments are made in appeals against the original decision.