Google (2)

Alphabet, the parent company of Google has become the world's most valuable company after its latest financial report was published.

Alphabet reported a profits of $4.9 billion in the fourth quarter, up $200 million from the same period last year. Those results sent shares up 9%, giving it a valuation of $568bn. It overtakes Apple as the world's most valuable company which is valued at $535bn.

For the full year, Alphabet reported a profit of $16.3bn, with Google's operating income rising to $23.4bn.

In the UK, Google's revenues jumped 16% to $1.92bn in the final quarter of the year. The news comes less than two weeks after HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) agreed a £130m tax settlement with Google, sparking public anger. The settlement amounted to a corporation tax rate of just 3%, while Italy's tax authorities secured a 15% settlement.

On the weekend, business secretary Sajid Javid admitted that the deal was "not a glorious moment" for the government, despite George Osborne's claims that it was a "major success".

Last week, the European Commission said it could investigate the UK's deal with Google. European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: “If we find that there is something to be concerned about if someone writes to us and says, well, this is maybe not as it should be then we will take a look."

Last month, 31 OECD nations signed a deal for better cooperation in tackling corporate tax avoidance.