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4th March, 2020

EU court rules against fine on Google

Hungary acted within EU rules in forcing Google to register to pay taxes in Hungary as an advertising service provider, but its aggressive fining policy is disproportionate and unjustified, the EU Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday.

Hungary’s penalties imposed on Google for failing to register were excessive and accumulated too quickly, the Court found, adding that this practice in effect gives the affected company no time to react.

Authorities fined Google Ft 10 million after it failed to register and cumulative fines reached Ft 1 billion within days.

The court noted that Hungarian authorities do not make any effort to ascertain the causes of violations because the fine is automatic.

In addition, the court found that the fine imposed on Google was discriminatory, as the penalties for smaller companies are much less severe.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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