EU state aid cases: Starbucks wins appeal, while Fiat Chrysler loses out

Sep 30, 2019

Starbucks won its appeal last week against the European Commission’s demand that it must pay €30 million in taxes to the Dutch Revenue authorities. While Fiat Chrysler Automobiles lost its appeal to pay €23 million in taxes to the Luxembourg authorities.

“The Commission was unable to demonstrate the existence of an advantage in favour of Starbucks,” the European General Court heard. While in a separate ruling, the General Court upheld the Commission decision that Luxembourg granted selective tax advantages to Fiat, forcing Fiat to pay €23 million in taxes in Luxembourg. The Commission have said they will carefully study the judgments.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that the judgements give important guidance on the application of EU State aid rules in the area of taxation and that the Commission will continue to look at aggressive tax planning measures under EU State aid rules to assess if they result in illegal State aid.

Read the Starbucks judgement here and the judgment in the Fiat appeal here.