Google escapes €1.1 bn tax bill in France

(FILES) This file photo taken on December 28, 2016 in Vertou, western France, shows logos of US multinational technology company Google. / AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE

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

“The French company Google Ireland Limited (GIL) is not taxable in France for the 2005 to 2010 period,” the court ruled.

Google paid just 6.7 million euros in corporate taxes in 2015 in France by booking revenues for its online empire at its European subsidiary in low-tax 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 EU.

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

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