June 27 – Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google was handed a punishment of 4 billion roubles ($47 million) by a Russian court on Tuesday for failing to pay an earlier fine over allegations that the company abused its dominating position in the market for video hosting services. This information was released by the country’s anti-monopoly watchdog.
The ruling is Moscow’s most recent multi-million dollar sanction in what has become an increasingly aggressive assault against international technology businesses.
In February of 2022, Google was given a fine of 2 billion roubles. According to a report by the TASS news agency, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) at the time stated that Google’s YouTube had a “non-transparent, biased, and unpredictable” approach to “suspending and blocking users’ accounts and content.”
In the end, Google filed an appeal of that verdict. Tuesday’s emailed request for the American company’s reply was not met with an immediate response from the business.
The FAS stated that the prior sanction that it had levied on Google had been increased as a result of the company’s failure to pay the fee.
According to the findings of the FAS, the corporation must make an additional payment to the budget of the Russian Federation that is greater than 4 billion roubles.
YouTube, which has prohibited Russian state-funded media internationally, is under strong pressure from Russian state authorities and politicians. However, Moscow has refrained from banning YouTube, while taking such action against platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram owned by Meta (META.O).
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March 2022, Google decided to cease selling internet advertising in Russia. However, the company has continued to make some of its free services available. After Russian authorities confiscated its bank account, rendering it difficult to pay its employees or its suppliers, the Russian component of the company formally submitted a bankruptcy petition.
According to TASS’s report, Google has sixty days to make the required payment on the fine.
($1 = 85.0250 roubles)