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French court denies Apple injunction against tax protests

A Parisian court has blocked Apple's attempt to prevent Attac — the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions and Citizen's Action — from staging protests at the company's French retail stores.

As part of a recent lawsuit, Apple had been seeking a three-year ban under the threat of a 150,000-euro fine, MacGeneration said on Friday. The company was also pursuing 3,000 euros in damages following a wave of protests in December.

The court found however that Apple couldn't identify any immediate damages, and ordered Apple to pay Attac 2,000 euros in legal fees.

In a statement, Attac argued that simply entering places like Apple Opera "without violence, without degradation, and without blocking the access of the store to shoppers" didn't cause any damages, and was not a valid reason for limiting Attac's freedoms.

In fact images and video from the Opera protest showed no permanent impact. The closest thing to violence was when Attac originally entered the store, since some shoving took place.

Apple is known to use elaborate loopholes to pay minimal taxes on its overseas revenue. In August 2016, though, the European Commission ordered Ireland to collect billions in back taxes, charging that it had extended preferential tax arrangements — something illegal under E.U. law. The Irish government has been slow to collect the money, prompting the Commission to take it to court.