November 29, 2021

Russia to fine Google up to 20% of annual turnover for failing to delete banned content

The watchdog highlighted Google had failed to pay $458,100 (32.5 million rubles) in penalties levied earlier this year. The latest fine may be as much as $240 million, marking a significant increase from the previous penalty.

Earlier this month, Roskomnadzor announced plans to ask a court to impose a turnover fine on social media firm Facebook, citing legislation signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in December 2020. Facebook was accused of allowing content glamorizing drug use, child pornography, and extremism.

Also on Facebook could face millions of dollars in fines from Russia for failing to delete banned content, Moscow’s media regulator warns

“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.

Last year, Google’s turnover in Russia totaled 85.5 billion rubles ($1.2 billion), according to the SPARK business database, cited by the media. Thus, a 5-20% fine would amount to between 4.3 and 17.1 billion rubles ($60 million-240 million).

Google 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.

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