Europe's second-highest court ruled in favor of Apple in a long-running battle over $15 billion in unpaid taxes.
The General Court said that a 2016 ruling against Apple, in a case brought by the European Commission's competition authorities, should be annulled "because the Commission did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard that there was an advantage" in Apple's tax arrangement with the Republic of Ireland that would have violated EU rules.
The original order from the European Commission had called on Apple to pay €13 billion ($15 billion) in back taxes to the Irish government after authorities said the two had agreed an unfair tax agreement as part of Apple's investment in the Republic.
"We thank the General Court," Apple said in a statement "We are pleased they have annulled the Commission’s case. This case was not about how much tax we pay, but where we are required to pay it. We’re proud to be the largest taxpayer in the world.”
The Irish government has always denied that it reached an unfair agreement on tax payments with Apple, and in fact lobbied against the $15 billion payment since the Commission made its first order more than four years ago.
Apple, for its part, accused the EU of 'retroactively" changing the rules with respect to calculating taxes on profits, arguing the payments should be made in the United States, not in Europe.
Jim Cramer said that it's too soon to get excited about this decision.