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Tax on tax

Amazon is the latest tech giant caught in an EU tax deal gone bad

Amazon is about to write quite a hefty check.

On Wednesday, the European Union ordered Amazon to pay 250 million euros in back taxes — that's $295 million — to Luxembourg, citing an unfair tax deal between the tech giant and the tiny country where its headquarters are located. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said an illegal deal between Amazon and Luxembourg meant nearly three-quarters of Amazon's profits weren't taxed.

Amazon is just the latest U.S. tech company to be charged in a series of European Union investigations into multinational tax deals. Last year, Apple had to pay Ireland 13 billion euros in back taxes.

The EU says tax agreements like Amazon's let multinational companies protect EU profits from taxes, Reuters explains. Luxembourg and other small European countries are all facing EU scrutiny for these kinds of tax deals, including ones with McDonald's and Fiat.

Despite making out better than Apple, Amazon said it is considering appealing the decision.