According to the European Union, Apple must pay up to $14.5 billion in back taxes to Ireland.
The ruling was announced on Tuesday. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said, "Member states cannot give tax benefits to selected companies — this is illegal under EU state aid rules."
Vestager said a three-year investigation found Ireland granted a large amount of tax breaks to Apple over the years.
In a formal letter to its customers, Tim Cook of Apple stated, "Taxes for multinational companies are complex, yet a fundamental principle is recognized around the world: A company’s profits should be taxed in the country where the value is created. Apple, Ireland and the United States all agree on this principle."
Arguing against the EU, Apple added, "We are committed to Ireland and we plan to continue investing there, growing and serving our customers with the same level of passion and commitment. We firmly believe that the facts and the established legal principles upon which the EU was founded will ultimately prevail."