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Google's Paris office raided by cops in tax probe

The investigation involves whether Google does more business in France than its current tax structure suggests, according to a report. The company says it's done no wrong and that it's cooperating with authorities.

A police officer stands in the Paris offices of Google, as law enforcement carries out a search as part of a tax fraud investigation.

A police officer stands in the Paris offices of Google, as law enforcement carries out a search as part of a tax fraud investigation.

Matthieu Alexandre/AFP/Getty Images

The French government is engaged in one heck of a Google search.

Tax investigators raided and sealed off Google's Paris office Tuesday as part of a newly revealed probe, which began last June, into whether Google owes the French more than €1 billion ($1.12 billion) in back taxes and fines.

The probe, reported by The Wall Street Journal, involves whether Google does more business in France than its current tax structure suggests. The company books most of its European revenue in Ireland and reimburses units in other countries. But the French government says that because Google execs negotiate ad deals in Paris, the company's Irish unit has a taxable presence in France, according to the report.

Google, now under parent company Alphabet, says it follows French regulations.

"We comply with the tax law in France, as in every other country in which we operate," Google said in a statement. "We are cooperating fully with the authorities in Paris to answer their questions, as always."

The French government didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.