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Russia to fine Google over failure to delete banned content

google 1 - Russia to fine Google over failure to delete banned content

MOSCOW: Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor said it would seek to fine American tech giant Google for repeatedly failing to remove content deemed illegal as soon as this week.

The fine will amount to 5-20 percent of Google’s Russian turnover. 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. “A similar case will be put together in October against Google,” the regulator said in emailed comments to Reuters.

Last year, Google’s turnover in Russia totaled 85.5 billion rubles ($1.2 billion), according to the SPARK business database, cited by the Russian media. Thus, a 5-20 percent 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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