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Merck Group’s Frank Schoeneborn discusses patent box controversy, negative press and issues of confidentiality

Frank Schoeneborn, head of operational transfer pricing at Merck Group, discusses the power of public opinion and the impact it is having on transfer pricing in an interview with TPWeek.

Schoeneborn has expressed his views on some of the most topical transfer pricing issues, including the arm’s-length versus profit split debate, BEPS progress, issues over confidentiality and the increasingly negative press coverage that transfer pricing is receiving.

“These days, press drives the public opinion more than ever. Even small matters might turn into big scandals very soon,” said Schoeneborn.

The interview provides an insight into the brewing controversy behind patent boxes and the growing emphasis being placed on people functions.

“Listening to the phrase patent boxes creates no sympathy. What should an individual think? These structures were invented for saving taxes,” said Schoeneborn.

Schoeneborn also shares his views on what transfer pricing methodology could look like in a decade, providing predictions on the future of the profit split.

The full interview is available on TPWeek.

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