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EU opens in-depth probe of Nike's tax deals in the Netherlands

AFP  |  Brussels 

The EU on Thursday launched an in-depth probe into Nike's affairs in the Netherlands, following in the "Paradise Papers" scandal that exposed low deals for multinationals.

The "will investigate carefully the treatment of in the Netherlands, to assess whether it is in line with EU State aid rules," said in a statement.

The investigation will try to determine whether a series of tax agreements over almost a decade gave an "unfair advantage over competitors" in the Netherlands, she added.

The investigation will focus on two Dutch-based units of that the EU suspects paid tax "that may not reflect economic reality", a statement said.

The units -- BV and Converse BV -- in fact employ more than 1,000 workers and are involved in sales and marketing throughout Europe, the and Asia, the EU said.

As a result of five tax deals made with Dutch authorities, these companies largely skirted paying royalties in The Netherlands, significantly reducing Nike's taxable income since 2006.

in 2017 against Nike were among the 13.4 million leaked documents known as the "Paradise Papers" which sparked an outcry about by multinationals and the world's super rich.

The has since tried to fight its reputation as a low tax hub for corporations, pledging in November to tighten rules on tax breaks for foreign firms after facing criticism from the EU for offering complicated schemes for multinationals.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 10 2019. 20:45 IST