A Paris-based court just ruled in favor of Google and reversed a $1.3 billion tax judgement against the company. The dispute had been raging for almost six years with the French tax authority claiming back taxes for that period.
The tribunal ruled that Google's ad-sales business did not have a taxable base in France, which meant that it was not liable for sales or income taxes on revenues earned from French clients.
However, Google is also facing another big fine in Europe levied by EU antitrust regulators, who have fined the company $2.7 billion for search results that favor its own shopping services.
The EU bureaucrats are also considering another case over Google's Android mobile operating system and yet another one over its AdSense dominance.
Riddle me this: Besides iOS and Android, what other mobile OS platform would the pointy heads at the EU antitrust prefer consumers use?
In any case, Google is not taking the other fine lying down either. (It should not at all)
The company has hired a a team of lawyer from four top European law firms to help the company fight the record $2.7 billion fine.
I guess Google is going with the "more is merrier" approach?
In all seriousness, that is a smart move. Different law firms means different levels of expertise, a diverse thought on strategy and a constant flow of new tactics to fight the fine.
Most importantly, whatever money that Google will spend on the team of lawyers will be well worth it if the case is dismissed by a European court or even if the fine is reduced by more than what the lawyers charges will eventually turn out to be.
Finally, this morning ruling in France, in favor of Google, is a small step not just for Google but for a lot of the best and biggest tech firms here at home who are facing similarly big fines across the pond.
(A giant U.S. company with a spaceship campus comes to mind).
Google remains a compelling buy especially given the beatdown it has taken in the last several weeks.
(Long googl, long adn short googl options)