In fact, the European Commission had ordered the government of Ireland to collect the "back taxes" only after concluding that two Irish tax coding permitted by Apple, that is to pay less tax than other businesses.
The Irish government has reached an agreement with Apple to start collecting the 13 billion euros ($15 billion) owed by the tech giant, it announced Monday.More news: Why Patagonia Will Sue President Trump Over Utah National Monuments
"The Commission's case against Ireland has never been about how much Apple pays in taxes, it's about which government gets the money", the firm said in a statement.
Speaking in Brussels, Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe said: "We have now reached agreement with Apple in relation to the principles and operation of the escrow fund".
Amazon denied it owed any back tax, saying it did "not receive any special treatment from Luxembourg".More news: Weather: Snow and ice warning for Northern Ireland
As no money has been recovered to date, the European Commission itself referred Ireland to the ECJ in October for failing to recover what it found to be "illegal aid" to Apple. In July, Ireland launched a procurement process for an escrow agent/custodian for an escrow account into which the funds would be placed and held until the European courts issue their final ruling on the Government's appeal.
Apple indicated it didn't see the arrangement as a settlement, though, and vowed to continue to fight to have the judgment overturned. "We remain confident the General Court of the European Union will overturn the Commission's decision once it has reviewed all the evidence".More news: Target Lets You Pay With New 'Wallet' Mobile Payment System