Can Google say it pays close to the rate of UK corporation tax?

Only by going back several years can the technology company say that the rate of tax it pays is anything like the rate of UK corporation tax

It was with a straight face that Google’s global head of tax, Tom Hutchinson told MPs on parliament’s public accounts committee that the search group’s worldwide tax rate over the past five years was about 19%.

“To me, that appears to be a fair amount of tax to pay,” he said, deadpan. It was a number he and Google’s European boss Matt Brittin kept coming back to in their evidence, on each occasion noting that it was “close to the UK [corporation tax] rate,” currently 20%.

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Former Sainsbury’s boss wades into tax row to criticise ‘unfair’ rates bills

Justin King said traditional retailers paid huge bills for services, while online rivals paid little but received same benefits

The former boss of Sainsbury’s has waded into the row over the tax paid by multinationals such as Amazon and eBay, saying it was unfair that that traditional retailers must pay huge rates bills for services such as roads and waste collection, while their online rivals paid little but received the same benefits.

Business rates, said Justin King, are a bigger problem for British retailers than the corporation tax scandal.

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Google wants staff for its new company making self-driving cars

New job postings reveal how the company plans to bring its autonomous cars to market, pointing to a large manufacturing operation

Alphabet, the holding company for Google, is pushing forward with plans to spin-out its self-driving car project into a standalone business making and marketing autonomous vehicles, according to new job listings.

An advert posted last week for a marketing manager reveals that Alphabet – now the world’s most valuable technology company – intends to bring “self-driving cars to market” and “apply [a] new brand identity” after the project “graduates” from the company’s secretive X division, dedicated to moonshot projects such as airborne power generators and drones providing internet access.

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Facebook director appointed to digital economy advisory group

Richard Allan, who also previously led Amazon’s UK business, will join several others on government committee despite ongoing tax row

The government has appointed a Facebook director and the former head of Amazon UK to a new advisory committee on the digital economy, despite the ongoing row over the amounts such companies have paid in tax to the UK exchequer.

The appointments come days after it emerged that the Department for Work and Pensions plans to give a non-executive directorship to Amazon’s boss in China, Doug Gurr.

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MySpace: site that once could have bought Facebook acquired by Time Inc

Once the bastion of social networking, MySpace backed away from a ‘Space/Face’ merger in 2004. In the decade since, it has changed ownership three times

MySpace, Facebook’s one-time rival, has a new home. The fallen tech star is now owned by Time Inc, which acquired the company almost by accident after buying ad tech firm Viant.

Viant, formerly Interactive Media Holdings, oversees a portfolio of businesses including ad-targeting firm Specific Media, video ad network Vindico, and smart TV ad software-maker Xumo. Oh yes, and MySpace, purchased for more than half a billion dollars in 2005 by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and bought by Viant’s Specific Media for $35m in 2011.

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