Tim Cook Visits Europe to Meet EU Antitrust Chief, Pope Francis and Italian Developers

Apple CEO Tim Cook traveled to Europe this week to meet with European Commission antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager in Brussels on Thursday, before heading to Rome on Friday to meet Pope Francis and Italian developers.

Cook first met with Vestager to lobby against an European tax investigation that could force the iPhone and iPad maker to pay more than $8 billion in back taxes on overseas earnings, according to Bloomberg.

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European Commission headquarters in Brussels (Image: Hungary Today)

Apple is accused of operating multiple subsidiaries in Ireland to avoid paying higher taxes outside the United States, where it earns just under 60% of its revenue. Apple books its taxes in Ireland using low operating costs, allowing it to pay a foreign tax rate of only 1.8%, according to the report.

If the European Commission finds wrongdoing with Apple’s corporate arrangement in Ireland, the company's $64.1 billion in profit generated from 2004 to 2012 could be subject to a higher 12.5% corporate tax rate -- just over $8 billion in back taxes.

A decision in the probe could be made by March, but may take longer due to additional information requested by European regulators. Apple continues to deny any wrongdoing, and vows to take the European Commission to court over any negative verdict.

Meanwhile, the agenda of Cook's meeting with Pope Francis remains private. The 15-minute discussion was held at 11:30 a.m. local time.

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Pope Francis is known to incorporate technology into his position and takes to Twitter fairly regularly to share messages, and his old iPad was auctioned for $30,500 last year.

On Thursday, Cook tweeted about Apple's newly announced iOS development center in Italy, and said the company has created over 1.4 million jobs across Europe.

Cook met some of those iOS developers on Friday alongside Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi.

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Top Rated Comments

thewap Avatar
111 months ago
The Pope? Seriously, why?!
Why not?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yaxomoxay Avatar
111 months ago
The Pope? Seriously, why?!
Because he's the head of a state, and they probably discussed charity, global warming and other stuff.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
paul4339 Avatar
111 months ago
the Pope wants an Apple Store in Vatican City.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPLC Avatar
111 months ago
The Pope? Seriously, why?!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
111 months ago
The Pope? Seriously, why?!
They probably discussed global warming.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gasu E. Avatar
111 months ago
Must be something American. I just don't get it.

Is this Vatican 2.0? Does the Pope own a white iMac? Is this why Apple made earbuds white? Is there a vote-a-Pope app and does it smoke? Are they all lizards? Does Dan Brown know? Questions, questions...
Vatican 2.0 came out in 1962. Maybe Tim offered for Apple to Beta test Vatican 3.0?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Vatican_Council
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)