U.S tech giant, Google will be fined a percentage of Russian annual turnover for its failure to remove contents declared illegal by Russian government.An action which has proven to be the strongest effort of Russia’s move to control foreign tech firms.
Roskomnadzor, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media stated that it would seek a fine between 5% to 20% of Google’s Russian turnover since Google had refuses to pay $458,100 (32.5million roubles) initially levied against it this year.
It was estimated that the turnover could be as high as $240 million.
In its bid to regulate foreign tech companies, Russia is ramping up pressure to assert control over the internet in the country.
This has drastically reduced the spread of Twitter in the country since March while others were fined for content violation.
Meanwhile, Russian opposition activists have accused Google and Apple of submitting to Kremlin’s pressure for removing an anti-government tactical voting app from their stores.
Earlier in October, Roskomnadzor, declared that it would ask a court to impose a turnover fine on social media firm, Facebook, citing legislation signed by President Vladimir Putin in December 2020 as reference.
According to Reuters, “A similar case will be put together in October against Google,’’ Roskomnadzor said on Tuesday, noting that the company also owned video-hosting site YouTube.
Google’s annual turnover in Russia as at 2020 stands at 85.5 billion roubles, according to SPARK business database
With that, a 5 to 20 per cent fine would amount to between 4.3 and 17.1 billion roubles.
Google is currently fighting a court ruling demanding it to unblock the YouTube account of a Russian businessman or face a compounding fine on its overall turnover that would double every week and may force Google out of business, within months,if paid.