Google The Tax Dodger, Set To Be Hit With $4.8 Billion Dollar Fine
Google who has for more than a decade has not paid its fair share of taxes in Australia, while working to destroy the local media industry, by driving consumers to their own revenue generating products is facing the real possibility of being hit with a $4.8 Billion dollar fine by the European Commission.
Google who is obsessed with dominating the local media at the expense of jobs faces a record-breaking fine for monopoly abuse.
This follows a seven-year investigation of the company’s dominant search engine, their Chrome browser Android OS and YouTube player.
The $4.8B fine would easily surpass its toughest anti-trust punishment to date, a $2.4B fine levied on the microchip giant Intel.
Google has already been formally charged with unlawfully promoting its own price comparison service in general search results while simultaneously relegating those of smaller rivals, denying them traffic.
The stakes have been further raised by a new investigation into alleged monopoly abuse related to Google’s Android smartphone software.
Over the weekend Margarethe Vestager, the Competition Commissioner, raised the possibility of further charges in other specialised web search markets such as travel information and maps.
Google has been accused of abusing its monopoly on general web search over many years.
The European Commission may also seek to make an example of the company over changes to its algorithms during the investigation that made it even harder for competitors to thrive, as well as what some officials now see as its delaying tactics during the investigation.
As well facing as a heavy fine, Google will be banned from continuing to manipulate search results to favour itself and harm rivals. The move could have an impact in Australia where organisations like Fairfax Media and News Corporation are being forced to lay off staff due to Google stripping revenue from the market and not paying taxes on the bulk of the revenue they generate in Australia.
Recently the Company employed accountants and lawyers to try and get round new laws in Australia aimed at making Companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft pay their fair share of taxes which are currently being stripped out of Australia into tax havens.
The UK Daily Telegraph said recently that the company has fiercely resisted such interference in its algorithms, the heart of its business, and sought to placate regulators with offers to redesign the presentation of results, a gambit that ultimately failed.
Jaoquin Almunia, the previous Competition Commissioner, sought to agree a deal on such changes without bringing formal charges, but Ms Vestager’s has brought a new, more aggressive style to the role, according to lawyers in Brussels.
Her fine will signal a rejection of Google’s arguments.
Not surprisingly, Google declined to comment.
The European and UK Budget 2015 claims to abolish the notorious “Double Irish” loophole that enabled Google to pay a mere 0.14% in corporation tax. But if you read the small print, it won’t take effect for another six years. This gives the multinationals plenty of time to choose from a whole new selection of corporate tax treats, added to our tax menu to entice them to the Irish watering hole.
It could choose to fight the fine and new search rules in the European Court of Justice.