Russia fines Google a record 7.2 billion rubles

  • A Moscow court fined Google a record sum of 7.2 billion rubles ($98 million) for the company’s repeated failure to remove banned or illegal content in a sign that Russia is escalating the crackdown on foreign technology firms.
  • While this is not the first time that Google has been fined by Russian authorities, it’s the largest ever fine on a tech firm in the country, which on Thursday fined Twitter three million rubles ($40,000) with Russian authorities slowing down the micro-blogging site’s speed. This year alone, Google has paid 32 million rubles in fines and drastically cut down on the number of posts which Moscow finds offensive.
  • Until September, fines in Russia for failure to remove content were small change given the companies’ balance sheet sizes — since then, Russia’s federal communications watchdog decreed that companies not complying with the directive to remove offensive content could face fines ranging between 5% to 20% of their revenues. Google’s revenues from its Russian operations amounted to 85 billion rubles in 2020.

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