Ireland's Sinn Féin Accuses Apple's CEO of being Disrespectful to the Irish People for not attending a Key Hearing
In December Patently Apple reported that John McGuinness, chairman of the Oireachtas all-party Finance Committee had written to Apple's CEO inviting him to attend a hearing in January, along with other senior executives. The EU Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, is expected to attend the hearings, to explain the background and rationale behind the Commission's controversial judgement. It's being report today that Apple's CEO surprisingly turned down the invitation.
The Financial Times is reporting today that "Tim Cook, Apple chief executive, has been accused of being 'disrespectful' to Ireland after he turned down an invitation to talk to a committee of MPs investigating the US technology giant's Irish tax arrangements.
In a letter to the committee made public on Thursday, Claire Thwaites, a senior director for government affairs at Apple, said the affair was 'a complex and challenging issue' on which it was engaging with the Irish finance ministry and tax authorities as well as the commission. Given the sensitive nature of the investigation and the timing, we have been advised not to undertake any other direct activities, which could potentially prejudice future outcomes. It is on this basis that we are unable to appear before the committee on this occasion,'" Ms.Thwaites wrote in the letter.
The Financial Times further noted that "The letter sparked criticism from Irish politicians. Pearse Doherty, a member of the finance committee, said he was 'angry and disappointed' at Apple's refusal to meet the MPs and contrasted it with Mr Cook's willingness to appear before the US Senate.
'For him to refuse to attend the committee now is disrespectful to the Irish people,' said Mr Doherty, a Sinn Féin MP. "One would have thought Mr Cook would be keen to put Apple's view before the Irish people.' Sean Sherlock, a Labour MP and committee member, said the refusal to attend the hearing was a 'missed opportunity' by Mr Cook." For more on this, read the full Financial Times report here.
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