France to appeal court’s Google tax ruling

French Budget Minister said his government will appeal a court ruling which freed Google from having to pay €1.11 billion in five years worth of back taxes

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The Google sign is reflected in a rain puddle outside their offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., REUTERS/Brian Snyder

French Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin on Thursday said his government will appeal a court ruling which freed Google from having to pay €1.11 billion ($1.2 billion) in five years’ worth of back taxes.

The Administrative Court of Paris, in five separate decisions, said the country’s tax authority could not claim on revenues generated by Google in France from 2005 to 2010, arguing they had been transferred to its Irish subsidiary, GIL.

The French finance ministry had said it was considering an appeal, which must be lodged within two months “given the important stakes in these cases, and, more broadly, the issue of fair taxation, in France, of profits derived from the digital economy“.

The ministry also underlined “the significant role of French employees in Google’s commercial activity in France”.

epa06052507 The Google logo is seen on its office building in St Pancras in London, Britain, 27 June 2017. The European Commission on 27 June 2017 would fine the Google with 2.4 billion euros for abusing its dominance as a search engine. The company has 90 days to stop its illegal activities or face fines. EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

On Thursday, responding to a parliamentary question, Darmanin confirmed France would appeal “in the interests of the state”.

Google, however, said in a statement the rulings confirmed it “abides by French tax law and international standards”.

Google, the main business of U.S.-based Alphabet Inc., controls 92 percent of the worldwide search-engine market share on all platforms, according to Internet traffic analyst StatCounter.

It also accounts for nearly that amount of the market share in Europe.

Last month, the EU hit Google with a record fine of $2.7 billion for violating antitrust regulations.

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