EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager
Photo: Patrick Seeger / picture alliance / dpa
The dispute over Apple's back tax payment of 13 billion euros is going to the supreme court of the European Union.
As expected, the EU Commission announced an appeal against the judgment of the EU court in July.
The decision raises important legal questions about the application of the state aid rules, said the responsible EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
These are now to be clarified by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
In addition, the Commission takes the view that "the General Court committed a number of errors of law in its judgment".
In July, the EU court declared the EU Commission's additional request from 2016 null and void.
The Commission has not been able to show that Apple's tax arrangements in Ireland in 1991 and 2007 constituted prohibited State aid.
It was a painful setback for the Brussels authority and Competition Commissioner Vestager herself.
"Top priority that all companies pay their fair share of taxes"
Vestager said: "Ensuring that all businesses, large and small, pay their fair share of taxes remains a top priority for the Commission."
The EU states are responsible for their tax laws.
"When Member States grant certain multinational companies tax advantages that are not available to their competitors, this affects fair competition in the European Union in violation of state aid rules."
The Commission must therefore use all available means.
Apple was confident that the ECJ would confirm the judgment.
"The court of the EU categorically annulled the decision of the European Commission in July, and the facts have not changed since then," said the iPhone company.
However, the appeal "will not change the factual conclusions of the EU Court of Justice, which have shown that we have always obeyed the law in Ireland, as we do everywhere we operate".
Vestager had asked Apple in August 2016 to pay the billions in Ireland because the country had granted the group illegal special treatment in terms of tax conditions.
Ireland and Apple resisted.
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