The fine is still small at the moment. It's going to be interesting to see how long Facebook considers starting in the country is worth it. On one hand, WhatsApp is life and blood for many Brazilians; on the other hand, Brasil is one of the biggest emerging countries. It would really hurt Facebook to leave...
3466 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007
It's normal that there would be no fine if Google can convincingly claim that the way they paid taxes looked fair. When the additional tax paid is, as you said, so small, it's not unreasonable (and presumably the amount also looked fair to the tax service before politicians insisted they take another look).
What is unreasonable is the law that makes it possible for Google to book all their sales in Ireland, when they have such a massive presence in UK.
I am a bit saddened to see that the young voted in majority to stay, while older and especially retired people voted to leave. It's understandable, as the old people are more likely to remember the "good old times" before the EU. Also, maybe, they are less likely to be impacted by the turmoil, not needing to look for a job anymore. For the young who will have to live in the future, it's a bit of a slap in the face.
That said, I'm not sure that things will change as much as anybody predicts, considering the UK was already outside of many EU agreements like the Euro and Schengen, and it's probably going to keep close ties to the EU in any case. When most of your trade partners have the same standards, it's generally a good idea to follow the standards.
One thing that is likely to change is that Facebook et al. will find it a lot more difficult not to pay taxes on the revenue they make in UK. That's good, but I'm not sure it's worth the trouble. Also, who knows what will change for the worse?
I am personally disappointed that Nigel Farage is currently happy. Man's an asshole.
Re: Thankfully, God's can of Raid ran out.
Re: I don't fully understand...
If the images are actually secure, they are in the locked box and only the family members are able to get at them. Of course, it wouldn't stop those family members copying the images and putting them somewhere public but, without that, no one without the key can get at them even if they know where they are.
Sometimes, the URL itself is the key. For instance, one of the security settings of Google Docs is "anybody with the link can access", which essentially means "everybody can access it, but good luck guessing the 64-digit hash in the URL if somebody doesn't give it to you". When you think of it, having an additional 10-character password to protect the document really seems superfluous.
Re: The jist of this U.S. government intervention will be...
All is takes is the IRS auditing the companies properly for all sorts of problems to appear
Yeah right. The companies have better accountants than the IRS and are quite safe from audits. The US isn't some dictatorship where the government can shake down companies for more tax money whenever they feel like it.
Re: The jist of this U.S. government intervention will be...
To the best of my knowledge, the US government doesn't really have a say on how much is invested by US companies in Ireland. It could of course create laws against doing so, but that would probably break every treaty in the book.
It's nice that governments are finally getting involved. It's a bit silly that companies (which are not all the size of Facebook) have to bear the brunt of what is essentially a political dispute.
You were warned
To be fair, the Google founders have said openly from the beginning that they would always keep control of the company. I remember around the time of the IPO a finance guy unhappy about this and saying that Google stock would get punished by the market. They seem to have been doing fine.
Re: equivalent terms
I believe the UK is in a relatively good position in Europe, having low corporate tax rates to attract companies to London. I would guess they even congratulated themselves on that fact when the rules were drawn (though they probably didn't see coming the Facebooks and Apples choosing Ireland with an even lower tax rate).
All in all, my guess is that it would be a net loss to leave the EU, because London would lose a lot of business from companies currently selling in Europe, which wouldn't be recovered from companies in Europe selling to the UK.
Not that Facebook is the only one to do this but:
We only access your microphone if you have given our app permission
Which most users accept without blinking (and not long ago couldn't even refuse if they wanted to use the app at all).
and if you are actively using a specific feature that requires audio. This might include recording a video or using an optional feature we introduced two years ago to include music or other audio in your status updates.
Note how these explanations, here and in T&C's, always say "This might include…"; they never contain an exhaustive list. Because that would mean they cannot add anything in the future without making an announcement about changing their T&C's, which they want to avoid because it just attracts attention to the matter, and gets them in trouble with regulators.
So they leave all options open. They say what they might do, they give examples, but they never say "we will not do this", because that's painting themselves in a corner.
For the record, I don't even think that Facebook is really listening. I'm just pointing out that their statement is completely vacuous, out of abundance of care.
I agree with the current assessment, but it's a much bolder statement to say it will always remain so. There was 14 years between the Apple Newton and the iPhone. The former was a dud, and the latter started the biggest IT revolution since the 80s.
So all in all, I understand that these companies are still working very hard on it.
In some fields, it's almost de facto the case already. Everybody and their uncle put their article on arXiv.org before even sending it for review to a publication, and more often than not, the journal allows them to leave it there. In the first place, just the review process can take a year, and then another until the paper is actually published. Researchers generally want to make sure to put their name on the result as soon as possible before anybody else can.
Having open publications is really very important though. If the institution where you worked lacked the funds to subscribe to the top publications, it could be a real pain just to figure out what the most recent results in the field were. Even as the author, you could miss on the precious references to your paper if it wasn't accessible. I remember reading about a paper that might have been relevant to mine, but when I learnt I needed to pay 50 bucks for a copy, I simply didn't bother.
Re: That's silly
I think the downvoters find that you are mixing stuff that are unrelated. This suit is specifically about antitrust. Google is not going to use the "everybody else does it" defense, because they're the only ones in position to do it — that's the whole point.
You're also somehow accusing Google of money laundering, and I have no clue where you got that from.
I also want to call out the claim that Google is taking £150 a year out of the pockets of "every wage earner" in the UK, first because that's how much Google made in the country over ten years, but also because it's ridiculous to assume that without Google, this money would somehow have made its way into the pockets of people instead of another advertising company.
As to the shareholder lawsuit, Google came very close to striking a deal with the EU, brokered by Eric Schmidt with the previous commissioner, which was scuppered at the last minute by political pressure. I think it was reasonable for Google to think that they would get away with what they are doing, since they almost did. From that point, I don't think that the shareholder lawsuit is justified, since Google really did take the decisions that seemed best at the time. It's blaming them because their foresight was not as good as your hindsight.
Then again, lawsuits don't have to make sense in the US.
Re: Google doesn't have sales in France
Presumably the French authorities disagree (hence the raid at dawn).
That doesn't make sense. Google is doing this selling from Ireland publicly and openly. If the French thought that this was illegal, they could just fine them, and use Google's own declarations as proof.
A raid at dawn is only useful if you think they are hiding something. The only logical assumption is that the French think that Google is lying, and is actually secretly selling stuff from their French office. They're hoping to find proof of contract negotiations, or something like that.
Or possibly, it's just an intimidation tactic.
the platform is now outselling Macs in the US
Let's see those numbers. I am aware that not everybody can afford a Mac, but I would still have bet that Macs are more mainstream than Chromebooks.
Or maybe it's all those schools that are ordering a Chromebook for every child, because it's cheaper and the kids don't realistically need more until high school.
Does this answer your question?
Re: "you are bombarded with motorbike insurance advertising on every platform you go to"
If advertisers are legit enough to be buying this info from Experian, they're legit enough to play by the rules.
Are you suggesting you are fine with companies aggregating your private info as long as they sell it to whoever is willing to pay?
Re: former Google staff occupy key posts in areas essential to Google’s
In itself, he number of people jumping from one to the other is not very meaningful. I understand that there are thousands of employees who have left Google for Facebook, and Facebook for Google. Google and Facebook are still at each other's throats, and I doubt that anybody suspects the allegiance of people who switch.
Even when people in high position switch, it doesn't always turn the way you'd expect. Tom Wheeler used to be a cable company CEO, he switched to head of the FCC, and he is a goddamn pain for the cable companies today. In fact, he is acting exactly as if he was working for Google; go figure.
But Obama was always friendly with Google. If I remember correctly, they were doing analytics work for him on his campaign trail. I guess we only need to wait for Obama to get a seat on Google's board.
Re: @ tannin
No one has any idea how much advertising actually pays.
Google does! For them, it pays a lot. And note that Google does not get paid for just showing ads; the user actually had to click on them. Which must means there is somewhere a whole lot of users who like ads and click on them.
I don't know who they are either.