France Telecom (FT) may lose an appeal over a European Union (EU) order to pay EUR1.1 billion (USD1.55 billion) in back tax to the French government. In a non-binding opinion published today, EU Court of Justice advocate general Niilo Jaeaeskinen said that the EU court should dismiss the appeal. Local press reports note that the Luxembourg-based tribunal usually follows the court’s advice in such cases. The European Commission had investigated the French government’s for the state-backed behemoth when it was in financial trouble in 2002, and decided that it had benefited from the receipt of improper tax benefits from 1994 through 2004. The Paris-based company is appealing a lower EU court’s decision that sided with the regulator in 2009.