herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Tax fines won't deter us, says Apple CEO

Technology

Leslie Buckley, Chairman of INM; Stephen Rae, Group Editor in Chief at INM; Tim Cook, Apple CEO; and Robert Pitt, CEO of INM, during Mr Cook’s visit to INM’s offices in Dublin
Leslie Buckley, Chairman of INM; Stephen Rae, Group Editor in Chief at INM; Tim Cook, Apple CEO; and Robert Pitt, CEO of INM, during Mr Cook’s visit to INM’s offices in Dublin

Apple will not be deterred by any tax fine introduced here, chief Tim Cook has pledged.

CEO Tim Cook, who visited INM's offices in Talbot Street, Dublin yesterday, said that the company feels a "deep sense of partnership with Ireland".

He said that the Government has pledged to appeal any punitive ruling from Brussels over the tax issue.

"The Government has been clear that, if there's an adverse ruling, they'll appeal.

Partnership

"We feel a deep sense of partnership with Ireland."

He said that the matter was a completely separate one to the company's investment in Cork which they announced a planned 1,000 new jobs this week.

"It is," he said. "As you can see by our investment and announcements, we're adding more people here despite things going on with the [European Commission] investigation.

"We've added a thousand people in the last year and we're going to add a thousand more in the next year-and-a-half. There are great skills here - we've every intention of staying."

Last month, the European Commission ruled that the Luxembourg and Dutch governments had given illegal state aid to Starbucks and Fiat.

Verdict

The verdict fuelled speculation that the EU institution may be readying a similar verdict against Ireland in the case of Apple.

The Commission argues that Ireland's tax dealings with Apple broke the 'arm's length principle' espoused by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

"From an Apple perspective and an Irish Government perspective, [Apple's] announcement shows that whatever controversy there is around Apple's tax status, it hasn't affected their enthusiasm for Ireland.

"They're continuing to invest here," said Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

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