Aidan Regan: Why the Apple tax saga is really about antitrust and competition law

Does granting specific tax measures provide selective advantage to firms with ‘significant market power’? The European Court of Justice’s recent legal opinion says that it does

The question of whether or not Ireland’s tax treatment of Apple fuelled its market power has been absent in Irish commentary. Picture: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The European Commission’s case against Ireland in the Apple tax saga is fundamentally about competition law and market power. Did Ireland’s tax treatment of Apple undermine the rules of competition and enable it to further concentrate its power?

This context is made clear by Giovanni Pitruzzella, the European Court of Justice advocate general, in the opening paragraph of his legal opinion that sent shockwaves through official Ireland two weeks ago.

Pitruzzella stated clearly that tax ...