Google’s main Paris office was raided this morning by French authorities. The raid is reportedly part of an investigation into Google’s tax practices and supposedly involved up to 100 investigators, but there’s no clear information on what documents and files they were after.
Earlier this year, rumors were going around that the French government wanted Google to pay more than a billion euros in back taxes. Today’s raid may be related to those earlier reports, though that hasn’t been officially established.
What has been officially confirmed is that Google Ireland is the focus of the investigation, amid numerous accusations of tax dodging among tech companies located in Ireland. This isn’t the first time Google has been targeted in cases like these, nor is it the only company to undergo such scrutiny. At the start of the year Google reached a sweetheart deal with the UK government to pay only $180 million in back taxes.
Separately, Google has found itself in trouble with the EU Commission that has launched and concluded a number of investigations into the search giant’s practices, as well as its Android suite of apps. However, those do not concern taxes, but rather abuses in the market, made possible by the company’s monopoly over search.
For its part, Google has stated that it is fully cooperating with the French authorities and the company is complying with French law.