EU appeals 250m euro Amazon court ruling

[BRUSSELS] The European Commission on Thursday appealed a decision by an EU court annulling an order that Luxembourg recoup 250 million euros (S$401 million) in back taxes from Amazon.

The decision by the EU's General Court in May handed a new defeat to EU competition supremo Margrethe Vestager who in 2017 accused Luxembourg of handing tax privileges to the internet shopping giant that amounted to illegal state aid.

The court found "no selective advantage" had been given to the firm by the small EU Duchy.

While the court "raises important legal issues that are of relevance to the commission", the EU "respectfully considers that the General Court has made a number of errors of law in its judgement," the statement said.

The case now goes to the EU's highest legal body, the European Court of Justice.

The setback in May for the EU landed less than a year after iPhone maker Apple won its appeal in the same court against the European Commission's blockbuster order in 2016 that the US company repay Ireland 13 billion euros.

The cases came in the wake of the 2014 LuxLeaks revelations that unearthed secret deals between Luxembourg and hundreds of companies guaranteeing super-low tax bills.

In the Amazon case, Ms Vestager accused Luxembourg of an illegal deal with the internet giant to pay less tax than other businesses.

The EU has had trouble defending its tax decisions, losing in court against Apple, but also in a case against Starbucks and the Netherlands.



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