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EU: Facebook, McDonald’s and Amazon among those to be questioned by EC

 |  November 10, 2015

Amazon is among 11 companies that will be questioned by European Union lawmakers next week about low-tax deals as the internet retailing giant awaits a decision on its fiscal pact with Luxembourg from antitrust regulators. Barclays and McDonald’s are also among companies that will appear at a meeting of the European Parliament’s special tax committee on Nov. 16, the committee’s secretariat said in an e-mail Tuesday.

An earlier hearing was scuttled when nearly all the corporate invitees turned lawmakers down. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which hasn’t responded to the committee’s invitation, and Starbucks, were told to repay tens of millions of euros in back taxes last month in the first decisions from EU antitrust regulators on fiscal deals that allowed companies to avoid taxes. The European Commission may issue a second set of decisions in cases involving Apple and Amazon before the end of the year.

The Parliamentary probe, which is separate from the regulatory inquiry, was started after documents leaked by a group of investigative journalists showed that Luxembourg alone struck hundreds of secret fiscal deals known as tax rulings with companies from around the world, from PepsiCo Inc. to Walt Disney Co.

Amazon, which has more than 1,000 people working in the tiny nation, said in in a US filing its taxes could increase in case of a negative decision by the EU in its case. Disney, Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, also said they will send someone to the Nov. 16 meeting, as did HSBC Holdings, Ikea and Philip Morris International.

Out of 13 companies, only Wal-Mart Stores declined to appear.

Full content: Bloomberg

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