The European Commission has decided to withdraw a European Court of Justice action against Ireland over delays in recovering the €13.1 billion owned by Apple in disputed taxes.

The Commission said it was dropping the action after confirmation by Ireland that the money had been paid.

Last month Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said that Apple has deposited in full the money owed into an escrow account set up by the Government.

Apple deposited a total of €14.3 billion into the account, which represents the full recovery of €13.1 billion plus EU interest of €1.2 billion.

The European Commission had ruled in August 2016 that Apple had received unfair tax incentives from Ireland. 

The Commission said that the tax benefits were illegal under EU State aid rules as they allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax on profits recorded in Ireland than other companies subject to same national taxation laws.

Both Apple and the Government are appealing the original ruling, saying the iPhone maker's tax treatment was in line with Irish and European Union law. 

"Taking into account that the payment into the escrow fund of the illegal aid removed the distortion of competition caused by that aid, the Commission has today decided to withdraw the court action," a statement from the European Commission said today.

The funds will be held in the escrow account until final judgments are made in appeals against the original Commission decision.