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EU court backs Amazon over $300 million tax bill

Vestager loses in latest battle between European regulators and U.S. tech giants.

European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager stares with her finger on her mouth in front of a microphone.

An EU court sided with Amazon over a $300 million tax bill.

Image: Web Summit / Protocol

Amazon won an appeal over a $300 million tax bill on Wednesday when a European court canceled a 2017 decision finding that the e-commerce giant owed the money to Luxembourg.

In the latest twist in the long-running battle between the European Commission and U.S. tech giants, the court said that the body hadn't proven that Amazon got an illegal advantage from Luxembourg's tax policies.

Amazon said the decision "is in line with our long-standing position that we followed all applicable laws and that Amazon received no special treatment," according to the Wall Street Journal. The order would have cost it €250 million.

Margrethe Vestager, who heads the commission's competition bureau as well as telecom and tech regulation, said in a statement that she would consider next steps for the decision, which is appealable. Vestager had previously lost in the same court over an order to Apple to pay Ireland 13 billion euros.

According to the Journal, Amazon directed EU transactions through a company that paid royalties to an untaxed Luxembourg parent, which reduced its levy. The structure was known as Project Goldcrest, a reference to Luxembourg's national bird.

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