French investigators raid Google's Paris HQ over tax case - source

PARIS, May 24 (Reuters) - French investigators are raiding Google’s Paris headquarters as part of a probe over tax payments, a source close to the finance ministry told Reuters on Tuesday.

Investigators have been probing Google’s offices in central Paris since 0500 am (0300 GMT), said the source, who declined to be named.

A spokesman for Google was not immediately available for comment.

France is seeking 1.6 billion euros ($1.79 billion) in back taxes from the U.S. Internet giant Google, criticised for its use of aggressive tax optimisation techniques, another source at the finance ministry had said in February.

$1 = 0.8945 euros Reporting by Michel Rose; Additional reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gwenaelle Brazic; Writing by Ingrid Melander