Google’s offices in Paris have been raided by as many as 100 tax officials after the company was accused of failing to pay tax returns amounting to £1.3bn, according to the BBC.
French regulators confirmed the raids, as reported by Reuters, and Google has said that it is cooperating with the investigation.
“We comply with French law and are cooperating fully with the authorities to answer their questions," the company said in a statement.
The move comes amid growing scrutiny of Google in Europe concerning tax payments and alleged anti-competitive behaviour.
The UK government was criticised last year for agreeing a £130m deal with Google over unpaid taxes, which was a fraction of what was owed and of the revenue and profit that the firm generates.
More recently, the European Commission filed a Statement of Objections against Google concerning alleged abuse of its search market dominance to favour its own services at the expense of others.
Google faces the possibility of a €3bn fine if the firm cannot convince the regulators that this is not the case.
Google is also at loggerheads with French authorities over the Right to be Forgotten after the nation's privacy watchdog, CNIL, ruled that successful requests must be applied to the firm's entire search database, not just in EU nations.
However, the company has appealed to the highest court in France, arguing that the ruling would create a dangerous precedent and block access to search results in regions where that access is perfectly legal.
“As a matter of law and principle, we disagree with this demand. We comply with the laws of the countries in which we operate," Kent Walker, senior vice president and general counsel at the company, said last week.
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