Apple CEO Tim Cook calls EU ruling 'political crap'

Apple CEO Tim Cook also said his company was targeted on taxes by EU regulators. Brussels dismissed Cook's criticism.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Total political crap." That's what Apple CEO Tim Cook called the European Union ruling that slapped his company with a US$14.5 billion (S$19 billion) bill for back taxes. Mr Cook made these remarks on Thursday (Sept 1) to the Irish Independent. In a separate radio interview, he charged that Apple was targeted by EU regulators.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager dismissed Mr Cook's criticism, saying the tax bill was calculated based on facts.

Mr Cook said he expects Ireland's government will join Apple in appealing the ruling.

BDA Partners' Euan Rellie said earlier this week he thinks Apple won't fully get its way with an appeal:

"Apple's chances are very low. Apple is gonna have to pay some tax, and I think, there is huge pressure now around the world on big corporations to be seen to be doing their share," said Mr Rellie.

Transatlantic tensions are growing. Washington is supporting Apple. France joined Germany on Thursday in backing Brussels.