Play.com, the online retailer selling CDs and DVDs has been sold to Rakuten, a large Japanese group for £25 million. The sale comes months before MP George Osbourne closes the tax loophole in which Play.com’s business was established upon.
For nearly 30 years Channel-Island based websites have not had to pay VAT on products below £18, but in a couple of months time this will be lowered to £15 and them phased out completely by March 2012. This near 30 year old offshore VAT avoidance ruling set out by the EU loses the UK Treasury 130 million each year.
Play.com’s yearly sales come in at over £500 million, so it’s thought the Japanese company got quite a bargain.