Apple originally announced in September 2016 that it would move its entire iTunes business – registered as Apple Distribution International – to its expanded Hollyhill facility in Cork, Ireland.
The company has now confirmed that, as of February 5, 2017, operations will no longer be carried out at its Rue Sainte-Zithe office in Luxemborg. 12 years on, and Apple Inc. is moving its $9 Billion business comprising iTunes, Apple Music, App Store and iBooks Store support to the Emerald Isle.
Most of the workloads have already been moved to Ireland already, in preparation for the shift. In fact, local media reported that the Luxemborg office may have merely been an official address that Apple is retaining until February 4, after having shut its doors as early as July last year.
The Ireland office already employed about 5,000 people at the time of the original announcement, and the move was expected to add another 1,000, bringing the total headcount at Cork to about 6,000 Apple staffers.
Far from being a recent decision, the announcement to expand Hollyhill facilities came as early as November 2015, the same time when Apple CEO met with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. At the time, Apple announced its intention of adding a new building and creating 1,000 additional jobs at the facility.
The Hollyhill office is actually more than 30 years old now, having opened as a minor manufacturing unit with about 60 employees in 1980. Now Apple’s EU headquarters, the facility has been under scrutiny by EU regulators investigating Apple’s tax affairs, which resulted in the European Commission slapping a $14 Billion back tax bill on Apple Inc. last year.
But PwC Managing partner Feargal O’Rourke says that Brussels had overstepped its authority by demanding the back taxes from the Cupertino-based technology major. While he acknowledged that Apple should have been liable for more tax, he noted that the EC’s actions to retrieve the monies were “ill-judged.”
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