Starbucks and Fiat Chrysler will have to pay tens of millions of euros in back taxes after European regulators determined they made illegal tax deals with two European governments, according to Reuters.
The European Commission ruling on Wednesday threatens to upend the complicated corporate tax structures for hundreds of multinational companies that are designed to avoid taxes, the Wall Street Journal reported. Similar investigations are already ongoing for Apple in Ireland and Amazon in Luxembourg.
The Netherlands and Luxembourg will be required to collect less than 30 million euros from Starbucks and Fiat, respectively. In both countries, according to the European Commission ruling, the companies struck special tax deals that amounted to an unfair state subsidy. “The decisions send a clear message,”antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager told reporters, according to Reuters. “National tax authorities cannot give any company, however large or powerful, an unfair competitive advantage compared with others. For most companies, especially the small and medium-sized, I hope this is a reassuring message.”
Starbucks has said that it plans to launch an appeal.