Apple (AAPL) Could Be Fined Billions Over Illegal Irish Tax Deals, Report

According to a Sunday report from the Financial Times, it has been revealed that the European Commission [EC] will publish on Tuesday details of an in-depth inquiry into Apple (AAPL) for allegedly striking dodgy tax deals with the Irish government dating back to 1991.

Antoine Colombani, spokesman for Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, said the Commission, which began investigating the iPhone maker’s tax arrangements earlier this year, would publish a “non-confidential version of its decision” to open the probe on Tuesday.

Preliminary findings by the EC’s investigation will show that Apple benefited from “illicit state aid after striking backroom deals with Ireland’s authorities”, the report said, citing “people involved in the case.”

However, Apple, which has operated in Ireland since 1980, maintains that its less than 2% Irish tax arrangements are within the law. In a statement to the publication the tech giant said: “There’s never been any special deal, there’s never been anything that would be construed as state aid.”

The Commission announced in June it was investigating Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg over deals they have made with Apple, Starbucks (SBUX) and Fiat. The probe is part of a wider crackdown on what the EC has called “aggressive” multinational tax avoidance.

Shares in the $603B company are down $1.25, or 1.24 percent, on pre-market trading Monday to $99.50.

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