SWI 2018, 414
Database searches used for the purpose of a TNMM analysis are unable to take care of group synergies as in the screening process only net margins of wholly independent companies (conceptually not favoured by synergy effects) are included. This is in line with the basic concept of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines (OECD TPG), as stated e.g. in para 1.6: “The arm’s length principle follows the approach of treating the members of an MNE group as operating as separate entities rather than as inseparable parts of a single unified business.” However, despite the fact that synergy effects are occurring only in the case of “parts of a single unified business”, the new subchapter D.8 of Chapter I of the OECD TPG 2017 takes the view that synergy effects constitute comparability factors which must be taken into account in comparability studies. Helmut Loukota looks a little bit closer into that interesting area of transfer pricing issues which obviously require balancing comparability adjustments.