View photosMoreA neon Google logo is seen at the new Google office in Toronto, November 13, 2012.
The probe reflects an intensifying air of European indignation looming over Google and other U.S. tech companies as they amass huge amounts of cash while reducing their tax bills through complex maneuvers that shield their profits.
At the end of last year, the U.S. technology sector had stockpiled $777 billion in cash, accounting for nearly half of the $1.68 trillion held by non-financial companies in the country, according to a study by Moody's Investors Service.
European regulators increasingly are pressing companies to pay taxes in the jurisdictions in which they do business.
The French government hasn't disclosed how much it believes Google might owe in back taxes, but it made an elaborate show of force in Tuesday's raid.
With all signs indicating more cash will be pouring into the technology industry, the sector seems likely to remain in the crosshairs of financially strapped governments seeking more tax revenue.