Last Updated on 22/11/2021 by Sanskriti
Russia announced on Tuesday that it will pursue punishment of a percentage of Google’s annual Russian revenue this month for repeatedly failing to erase information considered unlawful, marking Moscow’s most aggressive push yet to rein in international internet giants. Roskomnadzor, the Russian communications regulator, claimed Google had failed to pay RUB 32.5 million (approximately Rs. 3.4 crores) in fines issued so far this year, and that it would now pursue a fine of 5-20 percent of Google’s Russian revenue, which could reach $240 million (about Rs. 1,800 crores).
A request for comment from Google was not immediately returned.
Russia has increased its pressure on international internet companies in an attempt to gain greater control over the Internet in the country, reducing Twitter’s speed since March and fining others for content breaches on a regular basis.
After removing an anti-government tactical voting software from their shops, opposition groups have accused Alphabet’s Google and Apple of bowing to Kremlin pressure.
Roskomnadzor announced earlier last month that it will petition a court to order Facebook to pay a turnover fee, using laws approved by President Vladimir Putin in December 2020.
“A similar case against Google will be filed in October,” Roskomnadzor said in an emailed statement to Reuters on Tuesday, noting that the corporation also owns YouTube.Google’s revenue in Russia in 2020 was RUB 85.5 billion, according to the SPARK business database (roughly Rs. 9,050 crores). A fine of 5% to 20% will cost between RUB 4.3 billion and RUB 17.1 billion (approximately Rs. 455 crores) (roughly Rs. 1,810 crores).
At present Google is appealing a court order that requires it to unlock the YouTube account of a sanctioned Russian billionaire or face a weekly compounding fee that would put the company out of business in months if paid.