The European Commission is withdrawing a case against the United Kingdom before the European Court of Justice over illegal tax benefits in Gibraltar.
The commission had taken the British to court earlier this year because Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory, had to recover EUR 100 million from a number of multinationals, but had not done so.
In 2018, the commission found that a number of international companies, in Gibraltar, an unfair competitive advantage enjoyed by the tax arrangements between 2011 and 2013, including an exemption from tax on dividends, interest and royalties. Thus did they, in a total of 100 million euros to pay less tax than other businesses in Brussels, of illegal state aid.
The commission ordered Gibraltar to collect that money from the companies by 23 april 2019 at the latest. Then, at the beginning of this year, only two of the four firms involved, the money was recovered, it was the patience of the day to day EU members.
According to Vice-President Margrethe Vestager (competition), the absence of the required claims had distorted competition in the market. In March, she announced that she would go to the EU court. According to the commission, the companies have already paid the money and are therefore withdrawing the lawsuit. The case dates from before brexit, the departure of the British from the EU.