TPG2017 Chapter VI Annex example 9

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26. The facts in this example are the same as in Example 8, except as follows:

  • Under the contract between Primair and Company S, Company S is now obligated to develop and execute the marketing plan for country Y without detailed control of specific elements of the plan by Primair. Company S bears the costs and assumes certain of the risks associated with the marketing activities. The agreement between Primair and Company S does not specify the amount of marketing expenditure Company S is expected to incur, only that Company S is required to use its best efforts to market the watches. Company S receives no direct reimbursement from Primair in respect of any expenditure it incurs, nor does it receive any other indirect or implied compensation from Primair, and Company S expects to earn its reward solely from its profit from the sale of R brand watches to third party customers in the country Y market. A thorough functional analysis reveals that Primair exercises a lower level of control over the marketing activities of Company S than in Example 8 in that it does not review and approve the marketing budget or design details of the marketing plan. Company S bears different risks and is compensated differently than was the case in Example 8. The contractual arrangements between Primair and Company S are different and the risks assumed by Company S are greater in Example 9 than in Example 8. Company S does not receive direct cost reimbursements or a separate fee for marketing activities. The only controlled transaction between Primair and Company S in Example 9 is the transfer of the branded watches. As a result, Company S can obtain its reward for its marketing activities only through selling R brand watches to third party customers.
  • As a result of these differences, Primair and Company S adopt a lower price for watches in Example 9 than the price for watches determined for purposes of Example 8. As a result of the differences identified in the functional analysis, different criteria are used for identifying comparables and for making comparability adjustments than was the case in Example 8. This results in Company S having a greater anticipated total profit in Example 9 than in Example 8 because of its higher level of risk and its more extensive functions.

27. Assume that in Years 1 through 3, Company S embarks on a strategy that is consistent with its agreement with Primair and, in the process, performs marketing functions and incurs marketing expenses. As a result, Company S has high operating expenditures and slim margins in Years 1 through 3. By the end of Year 2, the R trademark and trade name have become established in country Y because of Company S’s efforts. Where the marketer/distributor actually bears the costs and associated risks of its marketing activities, the issue is the extent to which the marketer/distributor can share in the potential benefits from those activities. Assume that the enquiries of the country Y tax administrations conclude, based on a review of comparable distributors, that Company S would have been expected to have performed the functions it performed and incurred its actual level of marketing expense if it were independent from Primair.
28. Given that Company S performs the functions and bears the costs and associated risks of its marketing activities under a long-term contract of exclusive distribution rights for the R watches, there is an opportunity for Company S to benefit (or suffer a loss) from the marketing and distribution activities it undertakes. Based on an analysis of reasonably reliable comparable data, it is concluded that, for purposes of this example, the benefits obtained by Company S result in profits similar to those made by independent marketers and distributors bearing the same types of risks and costs as Company S in the first few years of comparable long-term marketing and distribution agreements for similarly unknown products.
29. Based on the foregoing assumptions, Company S’s return is arm’s length and its marketing activities, including its marketing expenses, are not significantly different than those performed by independent marketers and distributors in comparable uncontrolled transactions. The information on comparable uncontrolled arrangements provides the best measure of the arm’s length return earned by Company S for the contribution to intangible value provided by its functions, risks, and costs. That return therefore reflects arm’s length compensation for Company S’s contributions and accurately measures its share of the income derived from exploitation of the trademark and trade name in country Y. No separate or additional compensation is required to be provided to Company S.

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