Apple's Texas move 'in peril' after attorney calls contract 'rigged'

The company initially had plans to invest $304 million in Austin, Texas, but now the county isn't sure it wants to offer Apple incentives to come to the city.

Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.
Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Apple had every intention of expanding its operations in Austin, Texas, but county officials aren't so sure it's the right move for the city.

Speaking to the Austin-based Statesman newspaper, Dave Porter, senior vice president for economic development at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, said that the deal between the city and Apple is not done, and "remains in peril." Porter went on to tell the newspaper that Apple is now "frustrated" with the recent developments.

Austin announced Apple's plans to put a new campus in the city back in March . At that time, the deal had not been finalized, and the nuts and bolts of the contract were still being worked out. Last week, Travis County commissioners approved in principle the incentives that would be offered to Apple to come to Austin, pending a full vote earlier this week. Before that vote could happen, however, several commissioners and other stakeholders expressed concern with the contract, saying that the $35 million to $36 million in incentives Apple would receive didn't do enough to protect Austin.

"[Apple] had it rigged so they could not comply with the contract yet end up with county staff basically renegotiating the terms that they would have to comply with," Bill Aleshire, an attorney and former Travis County judge who reportedly spoke out against the contract at the Commissioners' hearing earlier this week, told the Statesman. "I just thought that was a major flaw. It showed up in several ways in several places."

Under the proposed contract, Apple would invest $304 million in a new facility in Austin. The company would also hire 3,600 employees over the next decade. The incentives Apple would receive would be handed out over the next 10 to 15 years, and help defray some of the costs of its expansion.

The discussion that resulted from Aleshire's issues lasted for hours, according to the Statesman, and forced the commissioners to push the final vote back to next week.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment on the Statesman report. We'll update this story when we have more information.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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