The European Union’s competition chief told reporters “don’t hold your breath” waiting for an end to the inquiry over whether the tax breaks Apple enjoys in Ireland are legal, Bloomberg reports. Last November, Ireland’s finance minister Michael Noonan said he expected the case to be resolved by Christmas, but EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager said, “No, we wait for the job being done thoroughly and with the quality that we want it to be done with.
That is what decides the timeline.”
Apple is one of many American companies facing intense scrutiny from the EU over the tax breaks it has negotiated with European nations. The EU began its investigation into Apple in 2014 after the company was accused of moving $8.9 billion in untaxed profits from Australia to Ireland.
Apple has since agreed to pay $347 million in back taxes to Italy over transferring profits back to Ireland rather than declaring its revenue to Italian authorities, but the company could face as much as $8 billion in back taxes by the time the EU probe is concluded.