The Apple-Irish tax brouhaha may take a while to conclude because of all the data involved

The European Union (EU) antitrust chief says the two-year investigation into whether Apple’s tax deal with Irish authorities gave the the Cupertino, California-based company an unfair advantage will take a lot longer because of the large amount of data involved, reports Reuters.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she had asked Ireland for more details. This, in turn raised new questions that required a response from the authorities and occasionally from Apple as well, reports Reuters.

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The EU, Europe’s anti-trust and consumer investigation agency, has claimed that Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have attracted investment and jobs by helping big companies avoid tax in other countries, including EU members. The commission suspects Ireland was too lenient in rulings it gave to Apple and which helped the company shield tens of billions of dollars in profit from taxation. At 12.5%, Ireland’s corporate tax rate beats the U.S. rate of 35%. However, participating companies don’t pay that 12.% under the double Irish structure.