A court in Moscow fined Google 7.2 billion rubles (98 million dollars) because, as stated in the explanation of the verdict, it again did not remove the content that Russia considers illegal.
Moscow has stepped up pressure on major technology companies this year, which critics say is an attempt by Russian authorities to gain more control over the Internet, technology companies and content that people post on platforms.
Google has said it will study the court ruling before deciding on further steps. However, a Russian official quoted by Bloomberg threatened very unpleasant measures if Google does not adhere to the obligation to remove banned content.
On the same day, the court fined Meta Platforms 2 billion rubles ($ 27.15 million) on the same basis.
Meta did not comment on the court’s decision.
Russia has imposed small fines on foreign technology companies throughout this year, but Friday’s fines are the first to charge a percentage of Russia’s annual turnover, and they are the first such large fines. According to Reuters estimates, Google’s fine is just over 8% of the company’s annual earnings in Russia.
Russia has ordered companies to delete posts promoting drug abuse and dangerous entertainment, information on handmade weapons and explosives, as well as posts by groups marked as extremist or terrorist.
Google, which paid more than 32 million rubles in fines this year for not removing the disputed content, is in conflict with Moscow on a number of issues.
Russia has demanded that the company lift the ban on state broadcaster RT, although Google says the ban is a consequence of US and UK sanctions against the channel’s owners.
Moscow has also demanded that 13 foreign, mostly US technology companies, which have sites with more than half a million visitors a day from Russia, including Google and Meta, open offices in Russia by January 1 or face possible restrictions or complete restrictions. prohibitions.
Also, in 2019, Russia adopted a law that came into force this year, according to which smartphones, computers and TVs must have software installed by Russian developers.
Source: Informacija.rs by www.informacija.rs.
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