Re: You've got it bass-ackwards.
"It's Ireland that is being asked to rectify its transgression"
Yes I get that. Ireland who makes the rules made an agreement with Apple. Turns out that agreement is wrong, after the fact, and Ireland of course is the one in the wrong.
"(and "punished" by being shown not to be able to make such anti competitive sweetheart deals in the future)."
'punished' by being told to take money from Apple it has no right to by its own agreement which is retrospectively been decided Ireland is in the wrong. Its like punishing a felon by fining the victim.
"Apple is not being" punished""
Having money taken from you by force is theft. Through agreement Ireland promised not to take the money. Ireland is being forced to take the money from Apple. Ireland gets money (it doesnt want to take to their credit), EU feels proud of itself, Apple loses money it wasnt going to. Who is punished from this?
"just asked to pay the same taxes as any other corporation"
Except it did pay the taxes agreed. And it isnt being asked, it cant exactly refuse.
"(that got the "ordinary" sweetheart deal from Ireland)"
From who? Who did it? Who in the wrong? Hence my point Ireland. I could understand Ireland having to pay a fine, to be watched for further breaches of the rules etc. But the victim who acted within accordance of the law as Apple. It was agreed with the men with guns, the ones in power, the law makers.