INTERNET GIANT Google now pays more in European fines than it does in taxes., the firm's fourth-quarter earnings have revealed.
Google owner Alphabet company reported Q4 revenues up 22 per cent to $39.28bn, while annual revenues were up 23 per cent to $136.8bn.
The company also took the time to separate out "European Commission fines" in its consolidated statements of income in the company's accounts. These increased from $2.7bn in 2017 to $5.1bn in 2018, with a further €50m already set to be added to the bill for its first quarter and 2019 accounts, thanks to French data protection authority CNIL.
That compares to a provision for income taxes of just $4.2 billion for 2018, or 12 per cent of its pre-tax income.
Net income for the full year increased by 143 per cent from $12.67bn to $30.74bn thanks largely to a radically lower provision for income taxes - down from $14.5bn to just $4.2bn.
The company attributed this tax boost to the US Tax Act of 2017, which had depressed net income in 2017. This had "resulted in additional tax expense of $9.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, primarily due to the one-time transition tax on accumulated foreign subsidiary earnings and deferred tax effects", the company claimed in its earnings release [PDF].
The US remains the company's largest market, accounting for 47 per cent of the company's total turnover, while EMA is Alphabet's second largest market, accounting for 31.4 per cent of the company's fourth quarter revenues.
And, despite big spending on ‘moon shots' and other research and development efforts, the company remains overwhelmingly dependent on Google and the market for online advertising for the lion's share of its revenues.bn, Google accounted for all but $595m of the company's $136.8 billion in annual revenues.
Its 'other bets', as it describes non-Google activities, saw losses balloon during 2018, increasing from $2.7bn to $3.36bn.
Google's continuing increases in revenues come as other companies reliant for their revenues on internet advertising cut jobs. Buzzfeed, Vice Media and others have all shed jobs in the new year on the back of an ongoing struggle to achieve profitability.
However, despite the rising revenues and net income, the company's stock traded down following the announcement, with investors concerned over the increase in the 'cost of revenues' lines in Alphabet's consolidated statements of income, from $45.6bn in 2017 to $59.5bn in 2018.
Research and development also increased by just under one-third, from $16.63bn to $21.42bn. µ
Firm's first high-end speaker gets the thumbs up from us
Yes. Yes you can
A fantastic ultraportable that's almost devoid of innovation
Screen if you want to go faster