Apple will launch a legal challenge this week against the EU tax order

Apple will launch a legal challenge this week against the EU's €13B tax order, as Ireland readies its defense, accusing Brussels of infringing on its sovereignty.

"Apple is not an outlier in any sense. Apple is a convenient target because it generates lots of headlines," according to General Counsel Bruce Sewell. "It allows the commissioner [Margrethe Vestager] to become Dane of the year for 2016.”

The European Commission, 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 12.5% under the double Irish structure.