The EU's ruling that Apple Inc must pay a huge tax bill to Ireland was clearly based on facts and existing rules and was not a decision aimed against the United States, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Sunday. Last week, European Union antitrust regulators ordered Apple to pay up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in taxes to the Irish government after ruling that a special scheme to route profits through Ireland was illegal state aid.
Apple's Chief Executive Tim Cook last week described the ruling as "total political crap", but France and Germany have come out to back Brussels on the decision. Juncker said that the EU Commission investigations on taxation have mainly targeted Euroopean companies. This comes right after Ireland's cabinet agreed on Friday to join Apple in appealing against a multi-billion-euro back tax demand that the European Commission has imposed on the company, despite misgivings among independents who back the fragile coalition.
With transatlantic tensions rising, the White House said President Barack Obama would raise the issue of tax avoidance by some multinational corporations at a summit of the G20 leading economies in China this weekend.