Google's Paris Headquarters Raided in Tax Probe

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File
Google campus

"We comply with French law and are cooperating fully with the authorities to answer their questions," says a representative.

French investigators on Tuesday raided Google's Paris headquarters as part of a tax evasion and money laundering investigation.

Sources near Google confirmed the raid, and Reuters said the French financial prosecutor's office also confirmed the news.

The probe, launched last June, focuses on whether Google Ireland has failed in meeting its fiscal obligations in France, it quoted the prosecutor's office as saying.

"We comply with French law and are cooperating fully with the authorities to answer their questions," said a Google representative.

Google was asked earlier this year to make about $1.75 billion in past tax payments to the French government.

Google's taxes have been in focus on the continent. The Internet giant's Paris office was raided in 2011 in a probe about inner-European financial flows. And in the U.K., the company this year struck a $190 million tax deal for the 2005-2014 period, which critics said was too low for such a big company.

The European Commission earlier this year formally accused Google of antitrust violations, saying in a so-called statement of objections that the online giant has been abusing the dominance of its Android mobile operating system.

The EU Commission is carrying out separate investigations into Google practices in other areas, including allegations that it is giving favorable treatment to its own specialized services in Google Search and concerns regarding the use of rivals' web content.

 

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