Google could face billion-dollar fines in two court cases

This spring may go down as the most expensive season in Google’s history. On May 24th French prosecutors raided the firm’s Paris office to collect evidence as part of an investigation in pursuit of an estimated €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) in back taxes. (The firm says it is co-operating fully.) The tech giant also faces two other, more costly legal imbroglios.As The Economist went to press, a jury in California was deliberating whether Google had used copyrighted material in Android, its mobile operating system, without a licence from the owner, Oracle. If guilty, Google may have to pay the software-maker up to $8 billion in compensation. And the European Commission will shortly announce its decision on whether the firm harms consumers by using its dominance in online search to steer them away from rival shopping-comparison services and towards its own. The commission may hit Google with a record fine of €3 billion. The two cases could jar the technology industry, not just Google’s wallet.

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