Apple Inc. retained its title as the Most Valuable Global Brand this week -- right as its CEO was testifying before the U.S. Congress on Apple’s international tax practices.
The Brandz Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study, conducted by Millward Brown Optimor, estimated Apple’s brand is worth $185 billion in 2013. Apple grew just +1% in the last year compared to a +51% growth for its closest competitor, Samsung, which is now No. 30 in the global ranking, according to a press release.
In the meantime, Apple CEO Tim Cook testified before the U.S. Congress on May 21 regarding Apple’s global tax practices. Like many U.S.-based multinationals, Apple pays little or no tax on foreign revenue. A U.S. Senate panel determined Apple paid little or no corporate taxes on at least $74 billion over the past four years, according to the Wall Street Journal.
General Electronic Co. has also come under scrutiny for its tax-free offshore holdings. Neither Apple nor GE have been accused of tax evasion: under U.S. tax laws, foreign revenue is exempt from U.S. tax rates. However, global companies such as Apple and GE have been criticized for holding so much of their revenue offshore.
Over the years, the U.S. government has called for tax reform measures to close foreign-revenue loopholes. There have also been calls for tax amnesty to encourage U.S. companies to bring revenue back onshore. The amnesty would involve a pre-determined one-time rate be charged on revenue repatriated to the United States.