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

By Sam SchechnerFeaturesDow 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.

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.

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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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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