In 2017, the European Union’s Executive Council instructed Luxembourg to collect another 250 million euros in taxes in addition to interest from the US online retailer. The EU General Court ruled in May that the interference was not justified, but the Commission is now contesting that ruling.
The general court ruling was a sensitive defeat for EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. It found that Luxembourg had granted prohibited government assistance to Amazon by giving the company certain tax benefits. But the general court found that there was no evidence that Amazon enjoyed benefits in the Grand Duchy that other companies did not.
The European Commission is now appealing to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The judges are said to have made a number of errors in the previous ruling on the matter, the panel spokesmen wrote. “Ensuring that all businesses, large and small, pay their taxes fairly remains a top priority.”
Last year, the European Commission announced that it would appeal a ruling in Ireland’s favor in a dispute over the tax transfer to technology company Apple. Vestager ordered Ireland in 2016 to claim €13 billion plus interest in “backward” taxes from Apple, but here too the general court ruled that tax agreements between the European state and the iPhone maker were permissible.
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