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The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, on behalf of the Government, confirms that the full recovery of the alleged State Aid from Apple has been completed. Over the course of Q2 and Q3 2018, Apple deposited c. €14.3 billion into the Escrow Fund which represents the full recovery of the alleged State Aid of c. €13.1 billion plus EU interest of c. €1.2 billion.
The full recovery of the alleged State Aid is a significant milestone and is in line with the commitment given earlier in the year that the alleged State Aid would be recovered by end Q3 2018.
Notwithstanding the fact that the Government does not accept the Commission’s analysis in the Apple State Aid decision and have lodged an appeal with the European Courts, the collection of the alleged State Aid from Apple demonstrates that it was always the Government’s intention to comply with its legal obligations.
Speaking today Minister Donohoe said:
“While the Government fundamentally disagrees with the Commission’s analysis in the Apple State Aid decision and is seeking an annulment of that decision in the European Courts, as committed members of the European Union, we have always confirmed that we would recover the alleged State aid. We have demonstrated this with the recovery of the alleged State Aid which will be held in the Escrow Fund pending the outcome of the appeal process before the European Courts.
“This is the largest State Aid recovery at c. €14.3 billion and one of the largest funds of its kind to be established. It has taken time to establish the infrastructure and legal framework around the Escrow Fund but this was essential to protect the interests of all parties to the agreement.”
Notes to editors
Recovery of alleged State Aid
1. The State has recovered the alleged State Aid from Apple. The total amount is €14.285 billion (which is the principal amount and relevant EU interest). The final payment was made in early September.
2. There has been continuous and extensive engagement with the Commission Services throughout the recovery process, including in relation to agreeing the amount of the alleged State Aid and the relevant EU interest.
3. The alleged State Aid has been placed into an Escrow Fund with the proceeds being released only when there has been a final determination in the European Courts over the validity of the Commission’s Decision.
4. Notwithstanding the appeal in the Apple State Aid case and the difference in view between Ireland and the Commission on the issue, the Government has always been committed to complying with the binding legal obligations the Commission’s Final Decision places on Ireland.
5. Significant developments during 2018:
On 7 March 2018, the Department of Finance confirmed that the Bank of New York Mellon, London Branch, was selected as preferred tenderer for the provision of escrow agency and custodian services following a competitive tender process.
On 23 March 2018, the Department of Finance confirmed that Amundi, BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited and Goldman Sachs Asset Management International were selected as preferred tenderers for the provision of investment management services.
On 24 April 2018, the Minister for Finance confirmed that the Escrow Framework Deed, which sets out the detailed legal agreement regarding the recovery of the alleged State Aid was signed by the Minister and Apple.
On 18 May 2018, the Minister for Finance confirmed that the collection of the alleged State Aid had commenced.
6. In October 2017, the European Commission announced the intention to launch infringement proceedings against Ireland over the recovery of the alleged Apple State Aid. As recovery of the alleged State Aid has now been effected, it is now hoped that these proceedings will be withdrawn by the Commission. The Irish Government is in discussion with the Commission in respect of this.
Appeal on State Aid case
7. The Government profoundly disagrees with the Commission’s analysis in the Apple State Aid case. An appeal is therefore being brought before the European Courts in the form of an application to the General Court of the European Union (GCEU), asking it to annul the Decision of the Commission.
8. The case has been granted priority status and is progressing through the various stages of private written proceedings before the GCEU. It is at the discretion of the Court to determine if there will be oral proceedings, either in public or in private.
9. It will likely be several years before the matter is ultimately settled by the European Courts.