Google emerged on Wednesday as the victor in its latest legal battle in Europe, after a French court said the technology behemoth did not have to pay $1.3 billion in back taxes. At issue was whether Google had avoided taxes in France by routing sales in the country through an Irish-based subsidiary over a five-year period ending in 2010.
Google has been fined a record €2.4 billion ($2.7 billion) after EU antitrust regulators concluded the first stage of their three-pronged probe into the world's most popular search engine. The fine, which targets the company's shopping business, is the largest doled out by Brussels for a monopoly abuse case and came after a seven-year long investigation prompted by scores of complaints from rivals such as U.S. consumer review website Yelp, TripAdvisor, UK price comparison site Foundem, News Corp and lobbying group FairSearch.
European’s regulators are expected to hit Google with a minimum one billion euro fine this summer for anti-competitive practices that also means Google will also have to alter its business practices in Europe. The repercussions pertain to allegations Google favors its own shopping service in search results, but it could have ramifications beyond the Google Shopping feature. Google already faces other outstanding antitrust cases in Europe.
Google has agreed to pay the internal revenue agency €306 million in taxes, sources said Thursday. The Mountain View-based company has been under investigation by Milan prosecutors for the tax years 2009-2013, one of several European probes looking into the tax practices of international companies. A Google spokesman said the deal "resolved without disputes investigations relating to the period between 2002 and 2015". He said "in addition to the taxes already paid in Italy for those years, Google will pay another 306 million euros." Of these, "over 303 million are attributed to Google Italy and less than three million to Google Ireland." The spokesman said Google "confirms its commitment towards Italy and will continue to help the country's online ecosystem grow".
Google has launched a new feature on Search and News which shows a "Fact Check" label for certain links, indicating whether a third-party fact-checking organization has found the story factual or not. In October, the search giant introduced the fact check label for Google News in a few countries. But now the company is expanding use of the tag to search, as well as Google News in every other country where it's available.
Concerts, museums, surgical theatres: all have in common one thing, the use or potential use of virtual or augmented reality. More and more companies in all fields are studying how to use this technology, with celebrities jumping on board like Buzz Aldrin, who created a version of himself in space to show everyone how to reach Mars. Bands are using virtual reality to get in touch with their fans, who can now take part in concerts anywhere as long as both ends are equipped with the correct technology.
After a Pennsylvania court ruled that Google has to hand over emails stored overseas in response to an FBI warrant, Apple, Amazon, Cisco, and Microsoft are supporting the Mountain View-based company. Google, Facebook, and other Silicon Valley giants backed Apple’s decision not to create an iPhone backdoor that would compromise the security of iOS. Now Apple is returning the favor by standing alongside Google in its fight against an FBI search warrant. Apple knows all too well what it’s like to battle with the FBI. Under CEO Tim Cook, Apple has also taken a broader pro-privacy stance, most famously refusing to code a backdoor into iOS so the FBI could access the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook and became embroiled in a legal battle with the bureau that went on for months.
After many months of rumors, YouTube has officially announced its entry into streaming live TV. YouTube TV will let you access live and recorded content from major networks, both the big broadcast players as well as some options typically found on cable. "Half the cost of cable with zero commitments" said the announcement. For $35 a month, YouTube TV will include live streaming of ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN and about 30 of the biggest cable TV channels.
Google and Jigsaw have launched a new tool that uses artificial intelligence to filter ‘toxic’ comments online. The tool, known as Perspective, has been designed to crack down on online harassment by letting creators and readers identify abusive comments or comments that are likely to make ‘someone leave a conversation’. Google’s freely available software is being tested by a range of news organisations, including The New York Times, The Guardian and The Economist, as a way to help simplify the jobs of humans reviewing comments on their stories.“News organizations want to encourage engagement and discussion around their content but find that sorting through millions of comments to find those that are trolling or abusive takes a lot of money, labor, and time. As a result, many sites have shut down comments altogether. But they tell us that isn’t the solution they want. We think technology can help.” said Jared Cohen, president of Jigsaw, the Google social incubator that built the tool.
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