Alleged aid to McDonald's - European Commission

Dec 3, 2015 - PUBLIC VERSION .... (13) McDonald's is active in the food service industry through the franchising and operation of McDonald's restaurants.
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EUROPEAN COMMISSION

Brussels, 03.12.2015 C(2015) 8343 final

In the published version of this decision, some information has been omitted, pursuant to articles 30 and 31 of Council Regulation (EU) 2015/1589 of 13 July 2015 laying down detailed rules for the application of Article 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, concerning non-disclosure of information covered by professional secrecy. The omissions are shown thus […]

Subject:

PUBLIC VERSION This document is made available for information purposes only.

State aid SA. 38945 (2015/C) (ex 2015/NN) – Luxembourg Alleged aid to McDonald’s

Sir, The Commission wishes to inform Luxembourg that, having examined the information supplied by your authorities on the measure referred to above, it has decided to initiate the procedure laid down in Article 108(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”).

1.

PROCEDURE

(1)

On 19 June 2013, the Commission sent a letter to Luxembourg requesting information about its tax ruling practice.

(2)

By letter of 24 June 2014, the Commission sent an additional request for information to Luxembourg regarding the McDonald’s group.

(3)

In particular, the Commission requested Luxembourg to confirm that McDonald’s was paying taxes in Luxembourg, to provide a complete description of McDonald’s corporate structure in Luxembourg, and to explain to what extent the activities of

Son Excellence Monsieur Jean ASSELBORN Ministre des Affaires Etrangères Hôtel Saint-Maximin 5, rue Notre-Dame L-2240 Luxembourg Commission européenne, B-1049 Bruxelles – Belgique Europese Commissie, B-1049 Brussel – België Téléphone: 00 32 (0) 2 299.11.11.

McDonald’s benefited from a favourable tax regime on its intellectual property right. The Commission also requested Luxembourg to provide for each activity of the McDonald’s group in Luxembourg the amount of tax due for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, and an explanation on how those amounts were determined. The Commission also requested the balance sheets, the profit and annual accounts of all legal entities of the McDonald’s group for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, and copies of tax clearances. As regards revenues derived from McDonald’s intellectual property right, the Commission requested Luxembourg to distinguish those revenues according to whether they derive from a trademark, a patent, a design, a domain or any other type of intellectual property. (4)

In its letter of 24 June 2014, the Commission also requested Luxembourg to provide (i) all the tax rulings issued by its tax administration in favour of the McDonald’s group (including those issued in favour of any legal entity that is part of that group) which were still in force at the date of the Commission’s request for information; (ii) all tax rulings issued by its tax administration in favour of the McDonald’s group (including those issued in favour of any legal entity that is part of that group) since 2004 and until the date of the Commission’s request for information; and (iii) any element relevant to understanding that(/those) tax ruling(s) and, in particular, any transfer pricing report, if any such reports were provided by McDonald’s to the Luxembourg tax administration.

(5)

On 4 August 2014, the Luxembourg authorities transmitted their reply to the Commission’s request for information of 24 June 2014. In particular, the Luxembourg authorities provided two rulings addressed to McD Europe Franchising, S.à.r.l. (hereinafter “McD Europe”) dated 30 March 2009 (hereinafter: the “initial tax ruling”) and 17 September 2009 (hereinafter: the “revised tax ruling”) respectively, which are the subject-matter of the present Decision (hereinafter collectively referred to as “the contested tax rulings”). In addition, the Luxembourg authorities provided a number of other tax rulings granted by it