French Court Throws Out Google's EUR1.11 Billion Tax Bill

By Sam Schechner Features Dow Jones Newswires

Alphabet Inc.'s Google won a reprieve from one of its biggest legal battles in Europe on Wednesday, when a Paris court threw out a EUR1.11 billion bill that France's tax authority has sought from the search giant for five years of back taxes.

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In a decision issued Wednesday afternoon, Paris's administrative tribunal ruled that Google's lucrative advertising-sales business had no taxable presence in France -- absolving it of income or sales taxes on advertising income from French clients.

The decision, covering the years 2005 to 2010, backs Google's position in a dispute that has dragged on for more than six years, and could have implications for other tax battles in Europe and elsewhere.

A spokesman for Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for France's tax authority didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the case either.

Though the decision concerns only France, and is subject to appeal, it is a victory for Google and other Silicon Valley firms when they are facing multiple regulatory battles on topics including taxes, competition and privacy.

Write to Sam Schechner at sam.schechner@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 12, 2017 13:06 ET (17:06 GMT)