EU Watchdog Probes Corporate Tax Breaks

Competition regulators look at whether deals involving Apple, Starbucks.

Tax breaks for Apple Inc., Starbucks Corp. and Fiat Finance & Trade SA in three European Union countries are under investigation by EU competition regulators in a clampdown on special treatment for companies.

The EU is checking whether the tax deals in Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are illegal state aid, according to an e-mailed statement today. Governments can be ordered by the European Commission to claw back unfair aid.

Patent Boxes

The EU has also sought details from Belgium, Spain, France, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the U.K., Cyprus and Malta on so-called patent boxes, which allow tax reductions on income from patents, he said.

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