What fun!

The European Commission suffered an embarrassing defeat in its court battle with Amazon on Wednesday, after EU judges cancelled Brussels’ order that Luxembourg recoup about £215m in back taxes from the US tech giant.

The victory for Amazon is another setback for Margrethe Vestager, who leads the EU’s powerful competition authority and had accused Luxembourg of signing sweetheart tax deals with the company that amounted to illegal state aid.

At the heart of the case is a simple concept. Were the rules special for Amazon? If yes then maybe it’s state aid and thus illegal. If no, if other companies could achieve the same deal, then it’s not state aid and is just the normal ability of a country to decide its own tax rates.

As with the Apple and Ireland result – so far – the courts are finding that it’s not special to the specific company therefore isn’t state aid. All very simple indeed.

7 thoughts on “What fun!”

  1. OT but just to point out that Justine Turdeau–Castro Jr herself– has announced domestic vax passports ARE coming in Canada.

    This means that once again my copy of the supposed Great Reset plan that was allegedly given by Canada Govt to a group of “insiders” is once again vindicated and has not yet been wrong. When I have time I will write a more in-depth account of this paper Nostrodamus and its predictions for the world.

  2. Verstager is a hero for various Guardian journos. I bet they are using basic word prediction software to write refutations of this judgment

  3. There was never any legal basis behind this, nor the Apple/Ireland case.
    It’s gangsterism. Pay us the money to go away.
    Seee also Astra-Zeneca: “How dare you try and sell a vaccine in the EU without paying the requisite bribes?”

    I was gong to say hurrah for Brexit, and a plague on all of them, but I must be careful what I wish for. So it’s just “Hurrah!” then.

  4. “At the heart of the case is a simple concept. Were the rules special for Amazon? If yes then maybe it’s state aid and thus illegal. If no, if other companies could achieve the same deal, then it’s not state aid and is just the normal ability of a country to decide its own tax rates.”

    Hmm. I bet Jacques the Plumber who ran his business as a company wouldn’t get the same deal from the Luxembourg taxman as Amazon did. Its all very well saying ‘But anyone can have this deal!’ when in reality only the people with the connections and clout could ever get one.

  5. It turns out that the American multinationals the EU goes after are playing by the rules after all.

  6. “..and is just the normal ability of a country to decide its own tax rates.”

    Therein lies the heart of the controversy as there are those who want tax rates set by a central world authority. That governments face competition infuriates them when they think they ought to be able to rule without hindrance.

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