This judge validated the payment by McDonald’s of a public interest fine of 508 million euros, accepted by the fast food group. McDonald’s also approved in May the payment of 737 million euros to the tax authorities to settle its corporate tax evaded by this scheme of tax evasion.

By agreeing to sign this legal agreement in the public interest (Cjip) concluded with the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF), the most important in France to date in terms of tax evasion, the McDonald’s group thus avoids a lawsuit in France and settles its dispute with both the tax authorities and the public prosecutor.

French justice suspects the brand, in the crosshairs of the tax authorities since 2014, of having artificially reduced its profits in France from 2009 by means of royalties for the operation of the McDonald’s brand paid to its European parent company based in Luxemburg.

This “led to absorbing a large part of the margins generated by French restaurants and to reducing the taxes paid in France by the various structures of the French group”, noted the president of the judicial court.

The national financial prosecutor, Jean-François Bohnert, valued the agreement concluded with McDonald’s, explaining that the fine in the public interest had been set at “the maximum amount that could be pronounced within the framework of a Cjip”. The whole agreement represents “2.5 times the amount of tax evaded” by the group, 469 million euros.

For him, it is a “real sanction, both symbolically and economically”

This “agreement confirms the particular effectiveness of the Cjip, particularly in the area of ​​corporate taxation, where the financial penalty is the most appropriate means of responding to transnational fraud”, insisted Mr. Bohnert.

The Directorate General of Public Finance (DGFip) welcomed the agreement in a press release, which “responds to a double requirement of tax fairness and justice”.

“McDonald’s did not hesitate to pay taxes in France, 2.2 billion over the entire period”, underlined Me Eric Dezeuze, lawyer for the fast-food giant.

The criminal investigation had been opened following complaints from the Works Council of McDonald’s Ouest Parisien and the CGT McDonald’s Ile-de-France. Employees could take civil action to obtain compensation for their damage.

A coalition of European and American unions and an association fighting against British poverty hailed a “snub” for McDonald’s and a “victory” for employees.