Booking.com’s Call for Help Draws Dutch Outcry, Policy Rethink
The Dutch government plans to tighten the rules for businesses claiming coronavirus relief after one of the nation's most successful tech companies was accused of seeking state aid while paying billions of dollars to shareholders.
"Profit machine Booking.com raises its hand for state aid," wrote financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad. Evening paper NRC Handelsblad called the request "the dark side of the business climate." Much of the criticism focused on its use of tax planning and past payouts to investors. Parent company Booking Holdings Inc. has bought back $16 billion worth of stock over the past three years, according to its financial statements.