Vestager loses Starbucks tax case, wins Fiat
The EU General Court Tuesday annulled a landmark European Commission decision qualifying a tax ruling granted to Starbucks as an illegal subsidy, but confirmed a similar decision involving Fiat.
The cases were the first big court test for Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestagers bold strategy of attacking preferential tax rulings for multinational companies by using her state aid powers.
The court agreed with the Commissions assessment that the tax ruling Luxembourg gave to the financing company of Italian carmaker Fiat had artificially lowered its taxes. The Netherlands, however, was entitled to grant such a ruling to the coffee roasting company Starbucks, the court said.