Russia Hits Google with Massive Fine of Up to 20% of Its Annual Turnover
Tech giant hit for failing to delete content
Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor is seeking to fine tech giant Google for repeatedly failing to remove content they deemed illegal.
The fine will amount to 5-20% of Google’s Russian turnover.
Google failed to $458,100 (32.5 million rubles) in penalties, the watchdog noted.
The latest fine could be almost $240 million.
Roskomnadzor announced plans to ask the court to impose a turnover fine on social media firm Facebook earlier this month.
Neon Nettle reported:
Putin put Facebook on notice following the massive crash on Monday, that saw all of the Mark Zuckerberg-owned platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp, go offline for several hours.
Speaking on behalf of Putin, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the massive Internet shutdown earlier this week highlights the dangers of giving a "liberal" authoritarian California-based company control over the world’s Internet.
"We must understand that such a blackout can happen at any second, based on the processes that are now gaining momentum in the US," Zakharova said.
“Yesterday they showed you everything."
“A similar case will be put together in October against Google,” the regulator said in emailed comments to Reuters, noting that the California-based corporation also owned video-hosting site YouTube.
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"We aren’t cutting ourselves off, but their technologies are failing to such a degree that three and a half billion people were cut off," Zakharova added.
In 2020, Google’s turnover in Russia totaled 85.5 billion rubles ($1.2 billion), according to the SPARK business database
A 5-20% fine would amount to between 4.3 and 17.1 billion rubles ($60 million-240 million).
The tech giant is currently dealing with a court ruling demanding the firm unblock the YouTube account of a sanctioned Russian businessman or face a compounding fine on its overall turnover that would double every week, and force Google out of business in Russia within months.