Google tax deals in EU not in Vestager’s cross hairs ‘so far’

11 Oct 2016

Google. Image: Yeamake/Shutterstock

Following a €13bn ruling against Apple in August after an EU investigation into national tax deals, no such investigation into Google has emerged.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said yesterday that Google is, as yet, free from the scrutiny recently received by Apple regarding its tax dealings in the EU.


Future Human

In late August, Vestager issued an outcome on the Apple tax issue that was far worse than Ireland had imagined. The country had hoped she would declare a finding in the hundreds of millions or at most, in the low billions.

Instead, the €13bn figure suggested Apple paid under 1pc in corporation tax in recent years. Immediately, eyes turned towards other wealthy MNCs operating in Ireland and elsewhere in the EU. However, Google is safe, for now.

“So far, no, we have nothing formal on that one,” Vestager told reporters, detailing why the broader antitrust cases against Google with alleged competition irregularities are taking so long to complete.

The first of the cases against Google dates back to 2010, with Vestager adamant for the work to be watertight. “I am as sorry as you and everyone else that antitrust work is taking a lot of time,” she said.

“But it is also a sign that this is a case that is building in its strength, as well as a case which is of course strictly following our procedures to make sure that also here, we build up the rule of law.”

Google. Image: Yeamake/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic