Google Hit With Another $500+ Million Fine

Google is in the news for the wrong reasons again. The search giant agreed to pay a 500 million euro fine (about $550 million) to settle a French fiscal fraud probe after investigators in the country accused it of dodging taxes, Reuters reported.

Google’s headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, where it settles all sales contracts to avoid paying higher taxes in the rest of Europe. Alphabet isn’t the only company to take advantage of tax loopholes to avoid paying its fair share; Apple and Facebook also have large operations there.

“We continue to believe that the best way to provide a clear framework for companies that operate around the world is coordinated reform of the international tax system,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

That has become a standard refrain among tech companies, which call for clearer and even stricter laws when caught doing something wrong, all while spending millions to lobby for softer regulations. Facebook is doing the same after the Federal Trade Commission fined it $5 billion for lax data privacy practices.

As in the Facebook fine scenario, the news seemed to have little to no impact on public confidence in Google. The company’s shares were up as much as 1.4% yesterday. Fines in the hundreds of millions of dollars are negligible for Silicon Valley’s biggest firms.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Follow him on Twitter @joe_zappa, and shoot him an email at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.
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