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Google wins $1.2 billion tax-avoidance case in French court

The French claim was higher than the amount Google agreed to pay Italian and British taxmen

AFP | PTI  |  Paris 


Google is not liable for 1.115 billion euros ( $1.272 billion) in unpaid taxes claimed by the French state, a French ruled on Wednesday saying the internet giant's Irish subsidiary is not taxable in

"The French company Google Limited (GIL) is not taxable in for the 2005 to 2010 period," the ruled.

Google paid just 6.7 million euros in corporate taxes in 2015 in by booking revenues for its online empire at its European subsidiary in low-Ireland, a legal loophole prized by multinationals.

The group employs 700 people in France but advertising contracts for its search engine or video-sharing website YouTube are signed with its Irish subsidiary.

The French claim was the latest in a series against the California-based group, which faces mounting legal problems in the

European action has become increasingly aggressive against US technology giants Amazon, and Apple as well as Google.

The hit Google with a record 2.4 billion euro fine on June 27 for abusing its dominant position in the search engine business and illegally favouring its own shopping service over rivals.

In 2016, European competition chief Margrethe Vestager shocked Washington and the world by ordering iPhone manufacturer Apple to repay 13 billion euros in back taxes in after paying a near-zero rate of some years.

Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron promised to get tough on US internet giants during his campaign, seeing their low rates as a source of resentment about globalisation and unfair on European

"It is time Europe got a grip and defended its interests, making Google, Amazon and pay the taxes they owe European taxpayers," French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday.

The French claim was significantly higher than the amount Google agreed to pay Italian and British tax authorities over its tax arrangements with its Irish subsidiary.

In May, the group agreed to pay 306 million euros to Italian authorities. Last year, it struck a deal with Britain to pay 130 million pounds (170 million euros) for a decade of business, which was criticised at the time by opposition MPs as being too low.

The French claim was a fraction of the company's annual profits: In April, Alphabet, Google's parent company, declared a 29 per cent jump in profit to $5.4 billion in the first quarter of 2017.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 13 2017. 09:44 IST