Apple, the EU, in court over taxable costs of over $ 14 billion

EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager.

Emmanuel Dunand | AFP | Getty Images

Apple challenged a $ 14 billion tax bill from the European Commission in the EU's second highest court on Tuesday, escalating the landmark tax battle between the iPhone maker and the EU regulator.

In August 2016, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager ordered Apple to repay 13 billion euros ($ 14.3 billion) in tax to Ireland, saying the company had received "illegal" tax benefits over two decades. Both the Irish government and Apple have appealed the order, while CEO Tim Cook dubbed it "total political crap."

Representatives from Apple, Ireland and the EU appeared before the EU court in Luxembourg on Tuesday in the latest legal proceedings. Apple's six-person delegation was led by CFO Luca Maestri, according to Reuters. Last year, the European Court of Justice rejected US officials' request to intervene in the tax challenge.

Prior hearings are expected to last through Wednesday, but a decision is unlikely to be made in several months. The decision is likely to be appealed to the EU's highest court, the Court of Justice.

The United States has been critical of the EU's order that Apple be subject to US tax laws, while President Donald Trump has named Vestager Europe's "tax lady." Vestager, whose name has taken a tough stance against US tech giants such as Apple and Google, received another 5-year term earlier this month.

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