Amazon.com on Thursday won more than $1.5 billion in a tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over transactions involving a Luxembourg unit more than a decade ago. The IRS case involved “transfer pricing,” which arises when different units of multinational companies transact with each other. Amazon argued that the IRS overestimated the value of “intangible” assets, such as software and trademarks that it had transferred to a Luxembourg unit called Amazon Europe Holding Technologies SCS. The world’s largest online retailer has said the case involved transactions in 2005 and 2006, and could boost its federal tax bill by $1.5 billion plus interest. Amazon also said a loss could add “significant” tax liabilities in later years. Judge Albert Lauber of the U.S. Tax Court rejected a variety of IRS arguments, and found that on several occasions the agency abused its discretion, or acted arbitrarily or capriciously. click Read More below for more of the story
Costco Wholesale Corporation announced that Hamilton E. (Tony) James has been elected as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. He is President, Chief Operating Officer of The Blackstone Group L.P., and a member of the board of directors of its general partner, Blackstone Group Management L.L.C. He is also a member of Blackstone’s Management Committee and sits on each of the firm’s investment committees. Tony has been a director of Costco Wholesale since August 1988 and was its Lead Independent Director since 2005.