In addition to the taxes paid by Inter IKEA Group, the IKEA franchise system generates considerable tax contributions by respective franchisees in the countries where they operate and their profits arise. The franchise agreement is between independent parties and gives IKEA franchisees the right to operate an IKEA business under the IKEA trademark in a defined territory.
In 2017 the EU Commission announced the opening of an investigation into potential state aid in the Netherlands' and the tax treatment of Inter IKEA Systems B.V. The investigation focuses on transfer pricing topics, e.g. the valuation of IP rights, including the IKEA Brand. We believe the transfer prices have been correct and reflect economic realities, and therefore we have paid the correct amount in taxes. It is good if the investigation can bring clarity and confirm that.
We cooperate and respond to any questions the Dutch authorities or the European Commission might have.