In this Aug. 31, 2016 photo, Alejandra Vicuna, of Miami, Fla., takes a selfie in front of the Apple campus in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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Apple's Chief Executive Tim Cook described an EU ruling that it must pay a huge tax bill to Ireland as "total political crap," but France joined Germany Thursday in backing Brussels as transatlantic tensions grow. European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager dismissed Cook's broadside, saying the demand for a 13 billion euro ($14.5 billion) back tax payment was based on the facts.Washington has lined up with the tech giant, accusing the EU of trying to grab tax revenue that should go to the U.S. government.Apple has said it would appeal the ruling, which Cook attacked in an interview with the Irish Independent.Austria also welcomed the ruling but Britain – which voted in June to leave the EU – has stayed out of the row, saying it is an issue for the Irish government, Apple and the Commission.O'Reilly's mother pays 10 euros tax on a monthly pension of 1,050 euros ($1,170), a higher rate than the EU said Apple's main Irish unit paid on its profits in 2014 .By contrast, Cook estimated Apple's average annual tax on its global profits at 26 percent.
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