The settlements comprise a €500 million payment that was ordered by a French court, as well as €465 million in additional taxes. Investigators were probing the company to determine if it evaded taxes by failing to declare the full extent of its activities in the country. In fact, like others multinationals, the company declares profits from activities across the EU in one country, usually a low-tax state. In this case, Google declares most of its earnings in Ireland. “We remain convinced that a coordinated reform of the international tax system is the best way to provide a clear framework to companies operating worldwide,” Google declared in a statement. A Google spokesperson said the settlement brings an end to tax and related disputes that have “persisted for many years.”
The move on Google comes as the French government steps up its effort to more fairly tax the digital operations of companies. France’s tech tax provoked a reaction from the White House, which said it could lead to U.S. tariffs on French imports.