Amazon Wins Fight to Throw Out $303 Million EU Tax Bill

Amazon won its bid to topple a 250 million-euro ($303 million) tax bill in another blow to European Union competition chief Margrethe Vestager’s crackdown on preferential fiscal deals.

Regulators failed to show that the U.S. online retailer was given special treatment by Luxembourg’s tax authority in violation of state-aid rules, the EU General Court ruled on Wednesday.

Amazon’s victory follows last year’s landmark court defeat for the EU commissioner against Apple Inc., which contested a record 13 billion-euro tax order. The tech giants were both targeted as part of Vestager’s eight-year crusade against allegedly unfair treatment doled out by EU nations such as Luxembourg, Ireland and the Netherlands to attract some of the world’s leading firms.
The European Commission “did not prove to the requisite legal standard that there was an undue reduction of the tax burden of a European subsidiary of the Amazon group,” the Luxembourg-based EU judges said.

It was not all bad news for Vestager, as judges rejected Engie SA’s appeal against an order to pay back about 120 million euros to Luxembourg. They also said that the commission “cannot be accused of having exceeded its powers,” by probing tax issues. Both of Wednesday’s decisions can be appealed.S-ET

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