Russia said on Tuesday that it will seek to fine US technology giant Google a percentage of its annual turnover in Russia this month for repeatedly failing to delete content deemed illegal. This is Moscow’s most powerful move to curb foreign technology companies so far. . The communications regulator Roskomnadzor said that so far this year, Google has failed to pay a fine of 32.5 million rubles (about 3.4 million rupees) and will now demand a fine equivalent to 5% to 20% of Google’s Russian turnover. The fine may be Up to 240 million US dollars (about 18 billion rupees), a significant increase.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Russia has increased its pressure on foreign technology companies as it seeks to strengthen its control over the country’s Internet, slowing down Twitter since March, and often fines others for content violations.
Opposition activists accused Alphabet’s Google and Apple of succumbing to pressure from the Kremlin after removing an anti-government tactical voting app from their stores.
Roskomnadzor stated in early October that it would require the court to impose a turnover fine on the social media company Facebook, on the grounds that President Vladimir Putin signed legislation in December 2020.
Roskomnadzor said in an e-mail comment to Reuters on Tuesday: “A similar lawsuit will be filed against Google in October,” noting that the company also owns the video hosting site YouTube.
SPARK business database shows that Google’s turnover in Russia in 2020 is 85.5 billion rubles (approximately 905 billion rupees). The 5% to 20% fine will be between 4.3 billion rubles (approximately 4.55 billion rupees) and 17.1 billion rubles (approximately 1,810 crore rupees).
Google is currently fighting a court ruling that requires it to lift the blockade of the YouTube accounts of sanctioned Russian businessmen or face a compound fine on its overall turnover, which will double every week and force it after payment Google went out of business within a few months.
© Thomson Reuters 2021