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Amazon wins $270 million tax fight with EU

Amazon does not have to pay €250 million ($273 million) in back taxes to Luxembourg, the top court in the European Union ruled Thursday, marking a defeat for the EU’s crackdown on sweetheart tax deals for multinationals.

“The Court of Justice confirms that the (European) Commission has not established that the tax ruling given to Amazon by Luxembourg was state aid that was incompatible with the (EU’s) internal market,” the Court of Justice of the European Union said.

Its decision is final.

“We welcome the Court’s ruling, which confirms that Amazon followed all applicable laws and received no special treatment. We look forward to continuing to focus on delivering for our customers across Europe,” said an Amazon spokesperson.

Chiara Putaturo, Oxfam’s EU tax expert, criticized the decision.

“Amazon got an early Christmas present this year, as the company dodged its decade-old tax bill to Luxembourg and can continue to do so,” she said.

“This is why the EU must come forward with real tax reforms. It can start by not looking the other way when it comes to tax havens within its borders allowing companies to sidestep their tax bills through empty offices.”

The court defeat for the EU highlights the mixed track record of Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief, in defending tax decisions against legal challenges.

Earlier this month, French utility Engie won its fight against an EU order to pay €120 million in back taxes to Luxembourg.

Source: CNN Business