The following is an excerpt from James Kanter and Mark Scott | January 28, 2016 | Nytimes.com |
BRUSSELS — For some European nations, big American corporations like Google are seen primarily as employers and technological innovators whose presence can help with their global competitiveness.
But for others, the multinational giants are seen as having used complex accounting to sidestep corporate taxes. That, some argue, makes them prime targets at a time when governments are grasping for revenue to fill budget deficits and trying to address populist concerns about inequality.
The divide, long present in Europe, is playing out with new intensity.
The issue bobbed to the surface on Thursday when Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner who has become the bloc’s chief tax inquisitor, told the BBC that she might look into the $185 million tax settlement recently reached between Google and the Conservative government of Prime Minister David Cameron. Critics say Mr. Cameron has let Google off too easy.
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