What's Next for Apple and the EU?

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Europe's second-highest court ruled in favor of the tech giant 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.

Rebecca Rose Woodland, litigator and legal analyst, weighs in on what you need to know and what's next. 

Watch the video above.

Video Transcript:

Katherine Ross:
Apple won a case against the European Commission over dispute that concerns 13 billion euros, which translates into $14.9 in Irish taxes. Joining me to break down what that means is Rebecca Rose, Woodland litigator and legal analyst. Rebecca, is this the end of the story?

Rebecca Rose Woodland:
We're not really sure. It's looking like the European Union could appeal this appellate ruling, but the reality is that the ruling was pretty clear that there wasn't enough evidence to show that Ireland was being unfair towards others, and being more fair towards Apple in the tax structure that it granted to Apple. Now, the European Union says, "Well, we want this 12 billion, 13 billion euros," approximately, as you said Catherine, 14.9 billion in American dollars. And the European Union is strong in its case and has continued to claim this, but the cases they have made, other types of cases in this vein against other companies with multinational corporations and the tax structures, have actually failed. So how strong the European Union claims to be may not really be a strength if there is another appeal.

Katherine Ross:
What options besides for another appeal are available?

Rebecca Rose Woodland:
So the European Union can make another appeal, but the possibility that they lose seems pretty great because they've lost on a case with Ikea, a case with Starbucks, and another case with Nike. So possibly it might be best for the European Union to sit down with some of these countries and create an overall tax structure and comprehensive tax plan that would work better than suing and having countries who really want to keep these employees and the employers, these multinationals, in their country.

Katherine Ross:
Rebecca, thank you for joining us today.

Rebecca Rose Woodland:
Thank you.

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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