U.S. tech giant Google is to pay 965 million euros (US$1.068 billion) to settle disputes with the French tax authorities, according to agreements announced on Thursday.
“These agreements include a payment of 500 million euros announced today by a French court, as well as an amount of 465 million euros in additional taxes that we have agreed to pay,” said Google in a statement.
“We have put an end to the tax and related disputes we had had in France for many years,” it added.
French Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin said the settlement is “historic” and “marks the end of an era.”
“We welcome the definitive settlement” of the ongoing litigation, he said. “This landmark decision is great news for the public finances of our country.”
In 2017, France asked Google to pay a 1.12 billion-euro tax bill, two years after the country’s fiscal authorities launched an investigation for “aggravated tax evasion” and “organized money laundering.”
France wants the European Union and other countries to change the rules that currently enable internet giants such as Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon to reduce their tax bills by booking revenue in low-tax countries.
Having failed to reach an agreement on an international tax scheme, France introduced a national digital tax of 3 percent on internet giants’ sales in January this year. (1 euro = 1.11 U.S. dollar)