LUXEMBOURG --Fiat Chrysler Automobiles lost its appeal against an EU demand to pay up to 30 million euros ($33 million) in back taxes to Luxembourg.
The EU's General Court, the bloc's second-highest court, on Tuesday upheld a European Commission decision that forces FCA to pay taxes in Luxembourg, from which the automaker was illegally exempted by the Luxembourg authorities.
The European Commission said FCA set prices for goods and services sold between subsidiaries, known as transfer prices, that were below market rates and which artificially lowered their taxes.
The case against FCA is part of European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager's crackdown on unlawful tax breaks offered by EU countries to multinationals that has also extended to Apple's Irish deal and Amazon's Luxembourg deal, among others.
Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Ireland are among countries whose economies have benefited from attracting multinationals.
The European Commission is currently investigating Ikea and Nike's Dutch deals and Huhtamaki Oyi's Luxembourg tax ruling.
Critics said the EU executive appears to be harmonizing taxation regimes across the 28-country bloc by using its state aid rules to assess tax strategies used by many companies.
The Commission has denied the accusations. The countries involved have amended their tax rules in recent years.
In a similar case to FCA's, Starbucks won its appeal to pay a similar amount in back taxes to the Netherlands. The court said the European Commission was unable to demonstrate the existence of an advantage in favor of Starbucks.
FCA and Starbucks, as well as the Netherlands and Luxembourg, had challenged the Commissions's ruling that they should pay back taxes.
FCA can now appeal to the EU's Court of Justice.