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Photo illustration: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Apple won a major court case against the European Union Wednesday, shielding the tech giant from having to pay €13 billion ($14.8 billion) in back taxes to Ireland.

Why it matters: This is a major blow to European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who wants U.S.-based companies to pay what she sees as their fair share of taxes in Europe. Vestager has also tried to reel in American tech companies in matters of competition and privacy.

What they're saying: The EU's General Court said the European Commission "did not succeed in showing the requisite legal standard" to prove that the Irish government gave Apple an unfair tax advantage.

  • The European Commission said it would "study the judgment and reflect on possible next steps," according to CNBC.

Context: The European Commission in 2016 said Ireland allowed Apple to pay "substantially less tax than other businesses over many years."

  • Ireland, with its low corporate tax rates, is home to the European headquarters of many major multinational corporations.

What's next: Parties in the case have two months and 10 days to decide if they want to appeal the decision to the European Court of Justice, the EU's highest court.

Go deeper

2020's never-ending tax season

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Today — October 15 — marks a tax-filing deadline for many people every year who have been granted extensions, but this year's rules and dynamics are very different.

Why it matters: The IRS was closed for months as a result of COVID-19, which meant that a lot of refunds got delayed, a lot of tax payments didn't get processed, and a lot of taxpayers (and accountants) got put on perma-hold or disconnected when they called to ask questions.

Oct 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump asks Supreme Court to block subpoena for tax returns

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

President Trump's attorneys filed an emergency request on Tuesday asking the Supreme Court to block a lower court's ruling that would allow the Manhattan district attorney to enforce a subpoena for his personal and corporate tax returns.

The state of play: This could be the second time that the long-running legal battle over Trump's finances ends up before the Supreme Court. In July, the court ruled that presidents are not immune from investigation but sent the case back down to lower courts, where Trump's lawyers could try again to fight the subpoena.

Beauty giant Coty Cosmetics looking to sell its own branded products

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi. Photo: Axios on HBO

Coty Cosmetics CEO Sue Nabi tells Axios the beauty giant will “probably” introduce Coty-branded products one day.

Why it matters: Coty produces some of the world’s most popular fragrances, skin care products and color cosmetics on behalf of other well-known brands, but has shied away from producing its own branded products.