• Germany's news in English
Google CEO defends Europe tax practices
Google faces a raft of fiscal probes across the continent. Photo: AFP

Google CEO defends Europe tax practices

AFP · 17 Jul 2016, 15:20

Published: 17 Jul 2016 15:20 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

As Google faces a raft of fiscal probes across the continent, Pichai told Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the US company invested "very heavily" in Europe and employed 14,000 people there.

"As a global company, we find ourselves between the conflicting priorities of international tax law," he said, in remarks published in German.

"Based on the structure of existing tax law, most companies pay the bulk of their taxes in their home countries."

He said that Google respected the laws on the books, and that governments would have to take action if they wanted to ensure more revenues stayed at home.

"Only the further development of the global tax system by politicians can lead to better results," he said.

Asked about a Brexit or British exit from the EU following last month's watershed referendum, Pichai underlined the importance to Google of a "unified digital market" in Europe.

He said it was a "challenge" for a multinational company "to come to terms with different laws and regulations in each country".

"This complexity makes greater engagement difficult, which also plays out in investment," he said, stressing however that large companies were better able to deal with such issues than small firms.

European officials have raised questions about the tax liabilities of companies including Google, Amazon and Apple. Some firms have taken advantage of tax breaks offered from Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Story continues below…

Google's offices in Madrid were searched in a tax probe in late June, just over a month after police raided the Internet giant in Paris in a similar investigation.

The European Union also filed new anti-trust charges against Google last week, piling pressure on the company over the alleged abuse of its market dominance.

Pichai said Google's Android mobile phone operating system was "among the most open computer systems ever invented" and insisted that most Android phones "have several apps that aren't from Google".

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd