The European Union will investigate the taxes of 11 major companies to see whether they have had rulings from particular governments in order to pay fewer taxes.
Only Wal-Mart refused invitation
Some of the biggest companies in the world are part of those 11 companies under investigation: Amazon, Facebook, McDonald's, Fiat Chrysler and Starbucks. Previous attempts to get these companies to talk in front of a specially formed committee failed as the majority refused the invitation to meet. This time, they will be heard on 16 November, although there is still one company that refuses to cooperate, namely American supermarket chain Wal-Mart.
"I am satisfied that, this time, most of the multinational companies invited have decided to seize the opportunity to share their views with us on current developments in the corporate tax world,” said Alain Lamassoure, chairman of the special tax panel.
The special tax panel was formed after a range of documents were published showing how the government in Luxembourg had struck hundreds of deals with companies. These deals all involved those companies paying fewer taxes.