Ireland says EU action over 13 billion euro Apple tax bill 'regrettable'

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager holds a news conference at the EU Commission's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland on Wednesday described as "extremely regrettable" an EU decision to take the country to the European Court of Justice for failing to recover up to 13 billion euros ($15.3 billion) of tax due from Apple Inc AAPL.O

Ireland has said the Commission’s August order for the U.S. tech giant to pay the unpaid taxes was unjustified, but it had agreed to collect the money and was seeking one or more investment managers to handle an escrow account.

“It is extremely regrettable that the Commission has taken this action, especially in relation to a case with such a large-scale recovery amount,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

“Irish officials and experts have been engaged in intensive work to ensure that the State complies with all its recovery obligations as soon as possible, and have been in constant contact with the European Commission and Apple on all aspects of this process for over a year.”

Reporting by Conor Humphries; editing by John Stonestreet