Google agrees to pay France $1.1 billion to end tax investigation

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A group called Google You Owe Us wants $1000 each after Google invaded their privacy
Google is the latest tech giant to be fined in France.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google will pay a total of $1.1 billion to end a four-year probe into its tax activities in France. This is a combination of fine and repayment of additional taxes Google didn’t pay first time around.

France and Germany have both pushed for tighter tax regulations of multination tech giants. Others — Apple included — have been charged in the past. They may have to stump up more cash in the future, too.

Notre Dame could get glass roof from Apple Store architect

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Notre-dame
This isn't the craziest Notre Dame proposal we've seen.
Photo: Eight Inc.

The reconstructed Notre Dame cathedral could take some design cues from Apple stores if a proposal from design frim Eight Inc. wins the design competition.

Eight Inc, which designed some of the first iconic Apple stores, submitted a design that uses structural glass to reconstruct the roof and spire that were destroyed in a fire earlier this year. Mockups for the transparent roof look pretty incredible.

Take a close look at the glass spire:

New French tax law could take on tech giants like Apple

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money
The EU has been trying to solve the problem of taxing the tech giants.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The EU has gone after companies like Apple as part of a crackdown on what it views as unethical tax avoidance. As part of that mission, France is today debating a draft GAFA tax law.

An acronym derived from Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, the proposed GAFA law could put a 3 percent tax on revenues for tech companies with annual revenue of more than 750 million euros ($842 million). From the name of the proposed law, it’s no secret which companies that would involve.

Apple will pay France $571 million in back taxes

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Apple France tax
Apple's tax bill in France will be deductible.
Illustration: Cult of Mac

Apple has agreed to pay French authorities around $571 million in back taxes, according to new reports.

Apple today confirmed the deal but did not disclose the sum itself. The agreement comes after a multi-year audit into Apple’s accounts by the French tax administration.

France’s president wants to tax U.S. tech giants an extra $792 million

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money
Funds could help pay some of the emergency funds Macron recently announced.
Photo: Pictures of Money/Flickr CC

Beleaguered French president Emmanuel Macron is hoping to win back public favor by putting in place tax hikes on American tech giants doing business in Europe.

France has reportedly been working with other countries in the European Union to introduce a digital tax on companies including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. The new taxes, set to be introduced in January, could pull in $792 million.

Mass riots hit Apple Store in Bordeaux, France

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Chaos as looters grab Apple products from tables and shelves.
Screenshot: AIiFeTTaHoglu61/Twitter

Apple’s Bordeaux retail store in France was raided over the weekend as continued anti-government protests raged.

In a clip widely shared on Twitter, looters entered the Apple Sainte-Catherine store on Saturday night. They proceeded to pull MacBooks, iPhones and other items off the shelves and tables. Some of those involved with the incident were wearing the yellow vests associated with the riots.

Apple Champs-Élysées is a stunning blend of old and new

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Apple Store Paris 1
Apple's new Parisian flagship store is a knockout.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s Champs-Élysées retail store opens this Sunday, and from the look of some pictures Apple has released, it may be the most spectacular Apple Store yet.

The store eschews the glass and modernism of the company’s newly built stores for vintage grandeur, mixed with a few high tech flourishes. It is housed in a Haussmann-era apartment building, dating back to the 1800s. Check out some images of the new retail space below.

Paris Apple Store on Champs-Élysées will be très fabuleux

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The Champs-Élysées location doesn't get away with the giant glass doors found on other recent flagship Apple Stores.
The Champs-Élysées location doesn't get away with the giant glass doors found on other recent flagship Apple Stores.
Photo: Apple

Paris’ new flagship Apple Store finally got an official opening day: the retail location on the iconic Champs-Élysées will open its doors next Sunday.

In addition to offering iPhones, Mac, and more to the public, this building will serve as Apple headquarters in France.