EU rejects US Treasury concerns over tax probe bias

The European Commission is rejecting U.S. Treasury Department complaints that probes into sweetheart tax deals between governments and big companies are hitting U.S. firms hardest.

Commission spokeswoman Lucia Caudet said Thursday that "EU law applies indiscriminately to all companies operating in Europe — there is no bias against U.S. companies."

The Commission, which polices EU laws, has opened tax probes into Apple in Ireland, Starbucks in the Netherlands and Amazon in Luxemburg.

Caudet noted one of its first tax rulings last year concerned European company Fiat. This year the Commission rejected a Belgian tax scheme involving 35 mostly European companies.

The Treasury says the EU investigations could cost American taxpayers if companies are forced to pay higher taxes in Europe because businesses get U.S. tax credits for foreign tax payments.