TPG2017 Chapter III paragraph 3.10

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Another example where a taxpayer’s transactions may be combined is related to portfolio approaches. A portfolio approach is a business strategy consisting of a taxpayer bundling certain transactions for the purpose of earning an appropriate return across the portfolio rather than necessarily on any single product within the portfolio. For instance, some products may be marketed by a taxpayer with a low profit or even at a loss, because they create a demand for other products and/or related services of the same taxpayer that are then sold or provided with high profits (e.g. equipment and captive aftermarket consumables, such as vending coffee machines and coffee capsules, or printers and cartridges). Similar approaches can be observed in various industries. Portfolio approaches are an example of a business strategy that may need to be taken into account in the comparability analysis and when examining the reliability of comparables. See paragraphs 1.114-1.118 on business strategies. However, as discussed in paragraphs 1.129-1.131, these considerations will not explain continued overall losses or poor performance over time. Moreover, in order to be acceptable, portfolio approaches must be reasonably targeted as they should not be used to apply a transfer pricing method at the taxpayer’s company-wide level in those cases where different transactions have different economic logic and should be segmented. See paragraphs 2.84-2.85. Finally, the above comments should not be misread as implying that it would be acceptable for one entity within an MNE group to have a below arm’s length return in order to provide benefits to another entity of the MNE group, see in particular paragraph 1.130.

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