EU: Belgium Gave Illegal Tax Breaks Totaling $760M

BRUSSELS (AP) -

The European Union has ordered Belgium to recover some $760 million in illegal tax breaks from 35 multinationals in the latest move to fight sweet deals many member states have offered to some of the world’s biggest companies.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Monday that the tax advantage given only to a select few companies “distorts competition on the merits by putting smaller competitors who are not multinational on an unequal footing.”

Vestager said it was up to the Belgian authorities to name the companies but noted that they were mainly European.

Over the past months, Vestager’s office has gone after several member states, including the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and targeted companies like Fiat and Starbucks. It has three more tax probes ongoing.