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Google’s Paris HQ Raided

Dozens of tax investigators converged on Google’s French headquarters in a surprise raid, the latest move in a tax dispute in which French authorities are demanding more than 1 billion euros (A$1.5 billion) from the search company.

France’s tax prosecutor said the raid was part of a probe, which began in June last year, into what he claimed was “aggravated tax evasion” by the company. That investigation stems from a complaint from France’s tax authority, which has been investigating Google since at least 2011.

The French case is among biggest in a series that could lead other tax authorities and other companies to seek similar back taxes and tax-evasion fines. Italy, which reached a tax settlement between Apple late last year, is also pursuing Google for around 300 million euros (A$464 million) in back taxes.

Meanwhile the European Union’s executive arm has also been investigating alleged sweetheart tax deals enjoyed by Amazon.com and Apple.

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