Apple is a brand and logo that has almost come to define the digital revolution of the 21st century. Their sleek design and quality performance have been the envy of other computer programmers and manufacturers for decades, supplanting Microsoft as the technology gurus of the modern age, forever marketed as a hip, artsy alternative to the bland and dry corporate world of the PC.
Apple has become ubiquitous in a way that the omnipotent corporations of science fiction, such as Weyland-Yutani, or Tyrell Corp, could only dream of. According to CNBC’s All-America Economic survey, half of all U.S. households own at least one Apple product. There are more than 55 million U.S. homes with at least one iPhone, iPad, iPod or Mac computer, and an astonishing 1 billion apple products are in use worldwide. Oddly enough, you might be reading this on an Apple product right now.
When asked to comment on the wealth of business rival Bill Gates, Steve Jobs stated: “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” – yeah, be careful what you wish for Steveo, because the EU has just ruled that Apple pay up over 11 billion Euros in overdue taxes to the Republic of Ireland. Ouch.
The European Commission has ordered Ireland to recoup 13 billion euros from the computer manufacturers over a “sweetheart” tax deal offered to the tech company. After a three-year investigation, the commission has concluded that the tax arrangements between Ireland and the multinational tech firm are illegal.
Ireland’s corporation tax rate stands at a mere 12.5 per cent, but the commission claims that Apple’s shady tax deal meant the company was paying less than 1 per cent corporation tax since the year 2003. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, stated: “Member States cannot give tax benefits to selected companies – this is illegal under EU state aid rules. The commission’s investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years.”
In response to this ruling both Apple CEO Tim Cook the Irish Republic and have stated that they vehemently disagree with the ruling, and will seek an appeal in the coming months. In a statement issued to their investors, the corporation claimed “Apple follows the law and pays all of the taxes we owe wherever we operate. We will appeal and we are confident the decision will be overturned.”
This news will no doubt come as a huge blow to Apple’s burgeoning stock shares, which have been on a dramatic upward trend since 2009. This gigantic tariff comes only a short time after the leak of some big news about the next iPhone. Remember kids, think different, but don’t forget to pay your taxes. Not if you’re Apple.
This article originally appeared on Viral Thread.