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European Commission - Statement

Statement by European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager on tax state aid investigations

Brussels, 06 November 2014

Tax rulings as such are common practice in Member States.

However, if in a tax ruling, the tax authorities of a Member State accept that a tax base of a specific company is calculated in a favourable way which does not correspond to market conditions, it may give to the company a more favourable treatment than what other companies would normally get under the country's tax rules, and this could constitute State aid.

The Commission is already looking at Member States' tax rulings practice that could favour some companies: the Commission has recently opened formal investigation procedures on this area in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg and has sent information requests to other Member States.

For Luxembourg the two on-going investigations concern the tax rulings of Amazon and Fiat Finance & Trade (FFT). I cannot comment on on-going investigation cases as we cannot prejudge the outcome of the investigations.

The Commission is in close cooperation with the Luxembourg authorities to proceed in a constructive and cooperative manner in this area.

We have not seen all the information published yesterday, and we have at this stage not yet formed an opinion about these rulings and a possible formal follow-up by the Commission.

On a more general note, my services have asked information from Luxembourg and from other countries and we will be vigilant to enforce state aid control in fair and justified manner.


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