EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager

  • Margrethe Vestager said she had spoken to Apple about the controversial tax structures highlighted in the Paradise Papers.
  • Apple claims that it has paid its fair share of tax and that it hasn’t broken any laws.

Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition, said she was in touch with Apple about the company’s controversial tax structures — revealed in the so-called Paradise Papers this week — before the media published them.

The Paradise Papers — published on Monday — show that Apple has been siphoning billions of dollars of profits through the offshore tax haven of Jersey, where corporation tax is 0%.

“I have been asking for an update on the arrangement made by Apple, the recent way they have been organised, in order to get the feeling whether or not this is in accordance with our European rules but that remains to be seen,” Vestager told journalists at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon, according to Reuters.

“We have taken an interest in getting to know how Apple is organised now and we did that before the publication of the Paradise papers,” Vestager said.

The Danish politician added that it was too early to say whether the Paradise Papers would lead to any investigation. “That remains to be seen if we will open more cases after the Paradise Papers,” she said.

Vestager added: “We cannot forever rely on groups of journalists to do this, we also need more transparency in our public arena.”

Apple denies that it has done anything wrong. In a statement on the company’s website, Apple said it has paid $35 billion (£26 billion) in corporate income taxes over the last three years.