Europe’s top court rules in favor of Amazon, rejecting EU’s claim of illegal tax benefits for the U.S. e-commerce giant, signaling a setback for EU’s efforts to regulate tech firms.
Amazon’s Legal Victory
Amazon has emerged victorious in a legal battle with the EU, as the European Court of Justice ruled in the company’s favor. The court dismissed the European Commission’s claim that Amazon had received illegal tax advantages from Luxembourg.
Background of the Case
The dispute dates back to 2017 when the European Commission alleged that Amazon had benefited from tax advantages in Luxembourg, where its European headquarters are based. At that time, Amazon was instructed to repay approximately $270 million to Luxembourg as a result of the alleged tax advantages.
Following the initial ruling, Amazon appealed the decision, and in 2021, a lower EU court sided with Amazon, criticizing the Commission for failing to provide evidence of illegal tax benefits to the company. The Commission escalated the case to the European Court of Justice, which has now rejected their appeal, reinforcing Amazon’s position.
Impact on EU’s Efforts
The ruling marks a setback for the EU’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager, who has been striving to regulate the activities of tech companies within the 27-member bloc. This decision signals a blow to the EU’s attempts to challenge the tax practices of major technology firms operating in Europe.
Comparison with Apple’s Case
The article draws a parallel with a similar case involving Apple, wherein the European Commission ordered Ireland to recover 13 billion euros in back taxes from the tech giant. Despite winning an appeal in 2020, Apple now faces a challenge from the Commission, a situation that may ultimately be resolved by the European Court of Justice.