The world’s most iconic brand in the world of sports can’t run away from the European Union’s tax investigators. Brussels has launched an in-depth probe into Nike’s tax affairs in the Netherlands.
The EU’s Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement that Brussels “will investigate carefully the tax treatment of Nike in the Netherlands, to assess whether it is in line with EU state aid rules”.
As reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), the investigation will try to determine whether a series of tax agreements over almost a decade gave Nike an “unfair advantage over competitors” in the Netherlands.
The investigation will focus on two Dutch-based units of Nike that the EU suspects paid tax “that may not reflect economic reality”, a statement said.
A similar investigation of Apple’s tax affairs in Ireland resulted in an order by Brussels that the iPhone maker repay Dublin an extraordinary €14.3bn in back taxes.
Meanwhile, Nike has rejected the allegations. “We believe the European Commission’s investigation is without merit,” a Nike spokesman added.