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Amazon to pay taxes in France, other EU countries after Luxleaks scandal

media Barbed wire in front of the Amazon logistics centre in Graben, Germany Reuters/Michaela Rehle

Online retailer Amazon is to start paying taxes in France and four other European countries. The decision follows the Luxleaks revelations of multinationals using Luxembourg as a tax haven but the US-based company says it has been planning the move for more than two years.

Amazon has been recording its sales to customers in  the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy in those countries since 1 May, it said in a statement Tuesday.

"Previously, these retail sales were recorded in Luxembourg," it said, adding, "We are working on opening a branch for France."

The company claims to have started setting up branches in European Union countries two years ago.

But its Luxembourg arrangement came to light last year when Le Monde newspaper revealed that more than 300 multinationals took advantage of the grand duchy's fiscal rules to dodge taxes in other European countries.

The EU is investigating tax deals involving US tech giant Apple in Ireland, coffee-shop chain Starbucks in the Netherlands, and Amazon and Italian automaker Fiat in Luxembourg.

The European Commission originally set a deadline for its inquiry of the end of the second quarter of 2015 but Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said earlier this month that it will not be met.

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