BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission rejected on Thursday Apple’s (AAPL.O) criticism that an EU order to the company to pay back taxes to Ireland was political, noting the calculations were based on facts and Apple’s own data.
In an interview with the Irish Independent, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook on Thursday described the EU’s imposition of a 13 billion euro ($14.5 billion) back tax bill as “total political crap” motivated in part by anti-U.S. bias.
The European Commission’s Competition chief Margrethe Vestager, asked if she accepted that statement, told a news conference in Brussels:
“No, I will not. This is a decision based on the facts of the case,” she said.
She said the calculations of the back tax owned by Apple to Ireland were based on data provided by Apple itself and facts presented during hearings on Apple tax issues in the United States.
Vestager said she would meet U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in Washington in September to further discuss the Apple tax case.
Reporting By Alastair Macdonald, writing by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop