BRUSSELS – Ireland continues to expect European Union regulators to issue a decision on the country’s tax deal with Apple before the end of the year, the country’s finance minister said on Monday, a move which could force the iPhone maker to pay substantial back taxes.

The European Commission has already ordered Dutch authorities to recover up to 30 million euros ($32.23 million)from U.S. coffee chain Starbucks and Luxembourg to do the same with Fiat Chrysler for their tax deals.

Rulings on Apple and Amazon’s tax arrangement with Luxembourg authorities are still pending.

Reiterating comments made last month, Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the Commission is likely to announce its decision by the end of the year.

“We are expecting an adjudication on Apple maybe in the next few weeks but certainly between now and Christmas, ” Noonan told reporters on his way to a euro zone finance ministers’ meeting.

“It remains to be seen whether that is adverse or negative but (we) will deal with that when the announcement comes.”

Apple said in April the EU investigation could have a material impact.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio, writing by Foo Yun Chee)

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