TPG2017 Chapter I paragraph 1.117

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When evaluating whether a taxpayer was following a business strategy that temporarily decreased profits in return for higher long-run profits, several factors should be considered. Tax administrations should examine the conduct of the parties to determine if it is consistent with the purported business strategy. For example, if a manufacturer charges its associated distributor a below-market price as part of a market penetration strategy, the cost savings to the distributor may be reflected in the price charged to the distributor’s customers or in greater market penetration expenses incurred by the distributor. A market penetration strategy of an MNE group could be put in place either by the manufacturer or by the distributor acting separately from the manufacturer (and the resulting cost borne by either of them), or by both of them acting in a co-ordinated manner. Furthermore, unusually intensive marketing and advertising efforts would often accompany a market penetration or market share expansion strategy. Another factor to consider is whether the nature of the relationship between the parties to the controlled transaction would be consistent with the taxpayer bearing the costs of the business strategy. For example, in arm’s length transactions a company acting solely as a sales agent with little or no responsibility for long-term market development would generally not bear the costs of a market penetration strategy. Where a company has undertaken market development activities at its own risk and enhances the value of a product through a trademark or trade name or increases goodwill associated with the product, this situation should be reflected in the analysis of functions for the purposes of establishing comparability.

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