In addition to publisher-related issues Google is facing in France, it is also having some tax related issues. Tax related issues that could amount to about $1.3 billion.
Direction générale des finances (essentially the French IRS) may order Google France to pay as much related to “noncompliance” last year. TechCrunch reports:
The French weekly Le Canard enchaîné (which has an excellent track record for investigations) first obtained a letter that the Direction générale des finances sent to Google France asking it to pay $1.3 billion (€1 billion) in tax penalties. Most of Google France’s revenue could go directly to Google’s European headquarters in Ireland where the corporate tax is only 12.5 percent.
Blooomberg BusinessWeek reported:
Google France denied being notified of such a tax bill and said it will “continue to cooperate with the French authorities.” Government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem wouldn’t comment on the report in the weekly Canard Enchaine, except to say that if there were a tax probe, it would be covered by laws on fiscal secrecy.
Add all of this to the antitrust-related issues Google still faces in Europe, and the company has its hands quite full on the continent.