Bad Google? What Happened, Perhaps Your’ Not Well?
Oh boo hoo, Google, you were one of our best friends but now it seems we cannot trust you after all!
What is it with companies that become so big? Do they have to become corrupted? The usual shyster accountants and lawyers seem to get control and then it’s all about the bottom line followed by a moral spiral downwards. Why is it that companies have to constantly grow? We all know how dangerous monopolies can be and there is a point at which a company cannot grow much more anyway so should that be the emphasis?
if companies aren’t for the benefit of people then what’s the point?
This is my second rant in a row, for want of a better word, but I feel this post is justified and that it is right that people speak out when things are clearly wrong.
I did not expect the tax fiasco with Google, I really didn’t want to say “bad Google“.
If you are in the UK then you will know that Google have been put on the stand about tax avoidance that is tantamount to tax evasion. Yes, it’s legal what they are doing but barely. It’s certainly not moral. If you live elsewhere and you didn’t know then the issue is that Google generated billions of dollars in the UK last year but only paid $6 million dollars in taxes, less than 1%.
I expected Google to at least hold their hand up and say, yeah, what we did was a bit close to the bone so let’s work out what we really owe instead of bleating “what we did was within the law so we have every right”. They are not the only ones, Amazon, Starbucks and many others are at it as well but you’d think the big boys would lead by better example.
Google are selling in the UK but are processing the payments in Ireland so their argument is that the sale occurs in Ireland and they are not selling in the UK. Their staff are in the UK and all but the payment occurs in the UK so it’s a bit thin. Let’s suppose they set up their payment processing on a space station orbiting the earth, would that mean they were not liable for tax to anyone?
Well, it looks like the tax law is going to change in many countries because of this so perhaps it will work out well. Many countries in Europe and other places have got their magnifying glasses out and are taking a close look at Google and their own tax laws.
Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman said “that it was up to governments, not companies, to set tax rules”. Well, he’s right about that, technically, but doesn’t that just smack of shyster accountants exploiting things to their own devious ends and beyond the pale!
Google Shopping Monitised
This year Google have monitised their formerly free Google Shopping service by forcing their customers to link it with Adwords and have a paid for campaign running in order to keep it going. Of course they have every right to do this after all it’s their service and you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to.
There are a few issues that are perhaps a cause for concern here and these are;
- It’s not really very nice to allow people to build up their businesses on a free Google shopping and then change the goal posts by forcing an extra expense on them later on.
- Given that Google are so rich and so big already this does seem like an act of greed. They are going to make an absolute killing on this one.
- If you are not familiar with Adwords you can end up paying a lot of money for little return which will be a gold rush for Google as new people come onto it and make their initial mistakes. Some new users will outsource their Adwords campaigns which will incur more expense but if their campaigns are successful then of course it will work out well. If not then it’s going to cost.
- The dynamics are going to change as better funded companies out gun the smaller ones.
- From the shopping customers point of view Google shopping results will no doubt be skewed towards the companies with the best Adwords campaigns and the best funded.
There will no doubt be winners and losers in this. For some it will be an opportunity. Either way Google wields a lot of power in these areas.
I wonder if they will pay their taxes for this?
Back in September 2012 I wrote about Google being the internet police in “Are Google the new dictators?”. Now I think we have even more cause for concern. Perhaps it’s time for a newcomer to rise through the ranks and really challenge Google, this is probably the only way they will be kept in line.
Do Google care? Probably not anymore, they used to …
More Interesting Google Related Links
These links make interesting reading.
- Google: Ask Fairly About Our Privacy
- Google: Don’t Sponsor Bigotry
- Tell Google to stop going through your email to sell ads
- Is too much Google a bad thing?
- MP on Google tax avoidance scheme: ‘I think that you do evil’
It’s not good to complain and moan all the time but when things are not right we have to have to speak up and voice our opinions or we will get railroaded “en masse” by the powerful into places we don’t necessarily want to go.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. (Edmund Burke)