An investigation by the Reuters news agency cast doubt on those claims, revealing that Google advertised for sales jobs in London, that London-based Google employees advertised themselves as sales people on professional networking profiles, and that many of Google's clients believed that the London staffers they were dealing with were sales people.
Brittin acknowledged that Google employed "people with sales skills."
"Some of them have sales in their title," he said. "I'm sure customers will feel they feel sold to by the teams."
But they weren't, he insisted.
"No money changes hands," he said. "To be clear the transaction is completed with Google Ireland."
Lawmakers were unimpressed.
"It doesn't make sense to your own staff, it doesn't make sense to this committee, and it doesn't make sense to your own clients," said Hodge. "The only one it makes sense to is Google."