With Google potentially facing a fine of up to $6.6B after the European Commission charged the company of abusing its dominant position in search, its lawyers have now filed a 130-page rebuttal. In it, the company attempts to use a legal technicality to argue that it cannot be fined for favouring its own products in search results … expand full story
GOOG November 4
GOOG October 7
Lobbying group Citizens for Tax Justice has called out Google, Apple and Microsoft and others for what it described as “accounting tricks” in which companies “pretend” to be based overseas for tax purposes. The claims were made in a report entitled Offshore Shell Games 2015.
Many multinational corporations use accounting tricks to pretend for tax purposes that a substantial portion of their profits are generated in offshore tax havens, countries with minimal or no taxes where a company’s presence may be as little as a mailbox. Multinational corporations’ use of tax havens allows them to avoid an estimated $90 billion in federal income taxes each year.
Google’s overseas tax arrangements came under fire in the UK back in 2013 when it was revealed that the company paid just £6M ($9.4M) on a UK turnover of £395M ($620M), claiming that all its advertising sales were made by staff in Ireland (a claim later challenged) …
GOOG October 5
GOOG July 22
The first antitrust case found that Google abused its dominant position in search to promote its own products over that of competitors. with the company told to expect large fines. A second one is underway, to determine whether Google forced smartphone manufacturers to favor its own apps over competitor ones in return for permission to use Android.
The FT now reports that a number of companies selling online advertising have asked the European Commission to consider a third case, to investigate Google’s dominance of the web advertising business … expand full story
GOOG April 15
As expected, the EU has formally accused Google of abusing its dominant position in search to favor links to its own products over those offered by competitors. The complaint takes the form of a Statement of Objections: a formal method of announcing that it believes Google has acted illegally and that a full investigation is underway.
The Commission’s preliminary view is that such conduct infringes EU antitrust rules because it stifles competition and harms consumers. EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that “Google now has the opportunity to convince the Commission to the contrary. However, if the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe.”
Google has not wasted any time in attempting to convince the Commission otherwise, arguing in a blog post that the evidence shows that Google has not harmed traffic to competitor websites … expand full story
GOOG January 23