Apple is likely to appeal the decision

Apple has been ordered to pay €13bn £11bn in unpaid taxes to the Irish government after the European Commission ruled that it had received illegal state aid.

The commission said a sweetheart tax deal between Apple and Ireland was anti-competitive, allowing the company to pay a tax rate as low as 0.005 per cent on its European profits.

The company has been under investigation for two years by the EU, in the latest effort to clamp down on alleged tax avoidance by US multinationals.

Apple's Irish base in Cork Credit: AFP

At a press conference, Europe's competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: "This decision sends a clear message.

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