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Europe's Missing Googles
French Raid Google’s Paris Offices
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  • Andrew Allison

    Where’s the public anger at the appointment of the former Prime Minister of notorious tax haven Luxembourg (he of “we all know what to do . . .”) to head the European Commission. Seems as though there’s a fox in the EU hen-house.

  • CaliforniaStark

    A Welsh shopkeeper nicely summed up the problem of Google’s blatant tax dodging: “The problem isn’t taxation . . .it’s that there is one rule for the small guys, and one for big multinational corporations.” For Google to evade paying taxes by channeling money to overseas subsidies in places like Bermuda, with no corporate tax, is just plain wrong. The effect of this is Google has been paying only 2-3% of their earnings in European countries in taxes (and a similarly small amount in the U.S. as well — where Google’s close connections with the Obama Administration are well know). Britain, France and other nations are not engaging in a “money grab” by forcing Google to pay its fair share. This type of corporate nonsense is what is causing millennials in the U.S. to support Bernie Sanders; and causing conservative voters to reject the Republican establishment.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Did Google break the law, or did they simply take advantage of holes in the tax net? If the former, then let the French prove it, and if not, they should consider changing their laws.

      We all know what this is…a power grab by Eurocrats, and only secondarily an issue of money. Pretending that this is about ‘fairness’ is silly…unless Google is breaking the rules (in which case, let them be thrown to the lions) as opposed to simply making optimal use of the existing tax code to their own benefit (something that the Welsh shopkeeper would happily do if he knew how and had the resources to do so, or would you really like to ignore the centuries long tradition of tax evasion and smuggling that the Welsh are justfly famous for?), then pat them on the back for their ingenuity and live with it.

      Google is obligated to obey the law, nothing more. Their ‘fair share’ is a question for philosophers, not tax officials.

      • CaliforniaStark

        Afraid Google already admitted they were breaking the rules in Britain, and agreed to pay $185 million in back taxes in a settlement agreement, and in the future pay taxes on their British income, rather than sheltered it away. They got thrown to the lions, have feed the British lion, but the other European lions now smell blood.

        • Ofer Imanuel

          That’s not necessarily true. Companies settle (other than due to guilt) in order to avoid lengthy and expensive legal battle, and because the government can cause them pain by piling additional regulations (or being particularly nasty w.r.t existing ones).

        • f1b0nacc1

          A settlement agreement is NOT an admission of guilt or of lawbreaking, rather it is a ‘go away and stop bothering me’ deal made for peanuts. Since the UK government could certainly have tortured them in the courts indefinitely, and since Google wants to continue to do business in the UK, it makes more sense to settle than to fight on, whatever the actual merits of the case involved.
          Now I tend to think that this was a mistake, for the very reason you point out. Now they have fed one parasite, the others sense a chance for their cut.

  • f1b0nacc1

    Remember, they got Al Capone on tax charges.

  • vb

    Maybe the EU is just seeking another big American name to use as a scapegoat for all its problems now that Monsanto will possibly be taken over by Bayer. The specifics of tax issues or GMOs are too confusing to get most people up in arms, but give them a big name to blame and the Euros can continue to operate without scrutiny

  • LetmeseewhatIcando

    Given the EU’s behavior lately (and the US is not exempt) they’ve become envious of of the draconian system of stupid that is China. They want to exploit their giant populations to inflate how awesome they are. China has a billion people. EU figures it needs, whatever figure Merkel decides when she wakes up tomorrow or the next day or whenever her eastern bloc addled mind decides. It’s bad all around. Google sucks until it doesn’t to these social engineering globalists.

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