The European Commission, the EU's competition watchdog, is nearing the end of a two-year investigation into IKEA's international dealings, and could be forced to pay millions in back taxes by the end of the year, reports City AM.   

The newspaper reports that the commission's probe commenced after the European Parliament found that IKEA's owner, Inter IKEA, avoided €1b in taxes over six years. 

IKEA's Netherlands operation runs the franchise business and tracks revenue from the retailer's worldwide franchise fees. According to City AM, the European Commission said that rulings granted by the Dutch authorities in 2006 and 2011 gave IKEA an unfair advantage and reduced its taxable profits in the Netherlands.

IKEA told Reuters that it was "committed to paying taxes in accordance with laws and regulations" wherever it operates, and that it believed it had paid the correct amount of tax in these cases.