The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the tax treatment of Nike Inc in the Netherlands, saying this may have given the US sportswear maker an illegal advantage, reported the Financial Times.
The Nike investigation, announced on Thursday, January 10, follows other probes by the EU executive into tax schemes in Belgium, Gibraltar, Luxembourg, Ireland, and the Netherlands it says allow companies to set up structures to reduce their taxes unfairly.
Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, said on Thursday: “Member states should not allow companies to set up complex structures that unduly reduce their taxable profits and give them an unfair advantage over competitors.”
Under EU State aid rules, the European Commission has the power to require the Netherlands to recoup any illegal state support that Nike, the world’s largest sports footwear and athletic company, has received since 2009.
The move is the latest in a series of probes into unlawful tax arrangements, which have caught out companies including Apple, Starbucks, Amazon, Fiat, and Engie.