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The European Commission said on Thursday that it had opened an in-depth investigation into the tax treatment of Nike Inc in the Netherlands, saying this may have given the U.S. sportswear maker an illegal and unfair advantage.
The Commission said in a statement that Dutch authorities had issued five tax rulings from 2006 to 2015, two of which are still in force, endorsing a method to calculate the royalty to two Nike entities based in the Netherlands.
The EU executive, which oversees competition policy in the 28-member European Union, said that at this stage it was concerned that the royalty payments endorsed by the rulings might not reflect economic reality.