Google has agreed to pay a €465 million fine in France in order to settle a fiscal fraud probe opened into the company four years ago.
The US-based tech giant, whose European headquarters are in Dublin, was suspected of avoiding paying its dues by not declaring some of its activities in the country.
Google pays little tax in most of Europe by using a loophole in international tax law which involves transferring money through a Dutch front company into the tax haven of Bermuda. This forces the company, however, to conclude its sales contracts entirely through the staff in Dublin.
“The agreement allows us to settle once for all these past disputes,” said Antonin Levy, one of Google’s lawyers, at a hearing in a Paris court.
This is the latest in a series of fines imposed on Google in the current year by authorities in the US and the EU. Last week Google was fined $170 million by the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) because of YouTube’s violation of child privacy laws.
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