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|Google and Facebook accepted the fine for their violations|
On December 18, Facebook and Google accepted to pay $455,000 in fines for not obeying regulations on election transparency in the State of Washington, US.
According to Washington’s attorney general Bob Ferguson, the state sued Facebook and Alphabet – Google’s parent company for violating the law requiring companies to maintain detailed records about who pays for online political ads on their platforms. Specifically, the fines of Google and Facebook are $217,000 and $238,000, respectively.
Ferguson also added that this is one of the 10 lawsuits included in the state’s biggest-ever financial returns campaign.
Despite having a large number of representative offices over the world, administrating the two corporations’ activities is a growing headache for countries. Over the past few years, the European Commission (EC) has been playing a cat-and-mouse game with Facebook and Google, trying to corner them into paying tax. The EC’s is currently planning to issue a new tax worth $5.0 billion per year on Facebook, Google, and Amazon.
According to the UK’s The Guardian, the growing dominance of digital companies is a long-term threat to Europe’s tax base, while also sparking questions of fairness. The EC estimates that digital businesses pay an effective average tax rate of only 9.5 per cent, compared with the 23.2 per cent for brick-and-mortar companies.