The European Commission, the EU's main antitrust regulator, has begun "in-depth" investigation into IKEA's tax affairs in the Netherlands.
In particular, the Commission suspects that the tax authorities of the Netherlands twice (in 2006 and 2011) made decisions that gave Inter IKEA Systems an unfair advantage over competitors due to the ability to pay less taxes.
Netherlands-based Inter IKEA operates the franchise business of Ikea. Such stores give Inter IKEA 3% of its revenue.
According to the representatives of the Commission, the Dutch authorities in 2006 enabled Inter Ikea to pay a "significant" annual licence fee to another division, I. I. Holding, based in Luxembourg and not taxed. This unit owned intellectual rights for the IKEA brand and received payment for using them from Inter IKEA.