Amazon Wins Appeal Over $300M EU Tax Bill

Amazon struck a new blow to European Union efforts to wring more tax from big tech companies when the bloc’s second-highest court sided with the company over a US$300 million tax bill, reported The Wall Street Journal.

The EU court on Wednesday, May 12, annulled a 2017 decision from the European Commission, the EU’s top antitrust authority, that had ordered Amazon to pay €250 million in taxes to Luxembourg, the latest of several big EU tax decisions to be overturned.

In its decision, the court backed Amazon, saying that EU regulators had failed to prove that the company got an illegal advantage from tax rulings issued by Luxembourg, and saying that the Commission’s analysis had been “incorrect in several respects.”

Amazon stated it welcomed the decision, “which is in line with our long-standing position that we followed all applicable laws and that Amazon received no special treatment.”

The ruling is a significant blow to Margrethe Vestager, an executive vice president of the Commission who is leading a campaign to curb alleged excesses by some of the world’s largest tech companies, including Amazon, Apple, and Alphabe’s Google.

Ms. Vestager had already been rebuked once by the same court in a similar case. The General Court overturned her 2016 order that Ireland must recoup some €13 billion in taxes from Apple. Ms. Vestager has since appealed that case to the Court of Justice, the EU’s top court.

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.