Ireland s cabinet decided Friday to appeal the European Commission s controversial ruling on Tuesday that the American tech titan owes the republic as much as €13 billion about $14.5 billion in unpaid taxes.

The commission s investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years, European antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Tuesday.

Thus began a bizarre tale that seems to be forcing the U.S. government closer to Apple, an unexpected twist given their rift this year over encryption, data privacy and security.

The move could also further isolate the EU, following the turmoil of June s Brexit vote.

Apple logged all of its EU sales as if they d occurred in Ireland, allowing the country s remarkably low rate see below to apply to all those sales, regardless of where they transpired.

Commissioner Vestager added, the so-called head office had no employees, no premises, no real activities.

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