Apple CEO Tim Cook flew to Brussels this week to lobby the EU’s antitrust chief, The Financial Times reports.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is due to rule on a landmark case that could force Apple to pay billions of dollars in underpaid taxes to Ireland. Sources cited by the FT say she is expected to pass a decision in late February.
A spokesperson for commissioner Vestager confirmed that Vestager and Cook held a “private meeting” on Thursday but refused to disclose any additional information.
The fact that Cook decided to meet Vestager in person suggests the world’s most valuable company is concerned which way Vestager’s enquiry will go, according to the FT.
Bloomberg Intelligence analysts suggested earlier this week that Apple could be forced to pay up to $8 billion (£5.6 billion) in unpaid taxes by the EU, while JP Morgan believes that the tax bill could climb to $19 billion (£13.3 billion) in the worst case scenario.
President Obama has suggested that Europe is unfairly targeting US technology companies. Other US technology companies being investigated by Europe include Google and Facebook.
Vestager denies accusations of bias, claiming instead that she is trying to ensure EU member states avoid giving “sweetheart” tax deals to large overseas corporates just to secure investment.