Music to Cork’s ears: Apple to move iTunes business to city on 5 February

27 Jan 2017

Apple has been in Cork since 1980 and recently revealed a 1,100-job expansion at Hollyhill. Image: M.V. Photography/Shutterstock

Apple is to close its Luxembourg branch and transfer its international iTunes business to Ireland on 5 February.

The official relocation was disclosed in a note sent to developers, according to AppleInsider.

It emerged back in September, just as the European Commission had slapped a €13.9bn tax bill on the company, that Apple planned to shutter its Luxembourg office.

The European Commission alleges that the company benefited from sweetheart tax deals that amounted to illegal state aid.

Both Apple and the Irish Government have denied any wrongdoing and have vowed to fight tooth and nail against the judgement.

iTunes transfer to Cork will involve $9bn in assets

The international iTunes business serves more than 100 countries, with the tech giant writing to developers last September advising them of the move.

It is estimated that the transfer of the operations is worth around $9bn in assets.

Apple already employs 5,000 people in Cork and last year, it got the go-ahead for an expansion that will facilitate a further 1,100 new jobs in the county.

Apple is also in the process of building an €850m data centre in Athenry, which will serve its iTunes, iCloud and other digital businesses. However, the construction has been held up by legal and planning challenges.

Chip on the shoulder

Meanwhile Apple’s legal issues with Qualcomm show no signs of easing, after the latter’s president, Derek Aberle, claimed the iPhone maker is “withholding information” in regulatory disputes.

These statements were made during a call with Qualcomm investors, who were reportedly anxious to talk about the ongoing dispute between the chipmaker and Apple, one of its biggest clients, who has filed a $1bn lawsuit against the former.

Apple said it believes Qualcomm has “unfairly insisted on charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with”.

Cork. Image: M.V. Photography/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years