Russian court fines Google and Meta platforms2021-12-24 19:36 by Daniela
A Russian court has fined Google $98 million over its failure to remove content deemed illegal in the country. The 7.2 billion rouble fine is around eight percent of Google's revenue in Russia, Reuters reports, and comes amid a broader push within the country to exert more control over big tech companies and the content people publish on their platforms.
A turnover fine is the strictest punishment under the Russian Code of Administrative Offenses and is imposed for repeated violations. Russian courts had previously imposed smaller fines on Google, Facebook and Twitter this year, and Friday's rulings marked the first time the size of the fine was calculated based on revenue.
Russia has ordered companies to delete posts promoting drug abuse and dangerous pastimes, information about homemade weapons and explosives, as well as ones by groups it designates as extremist or terrorist. In the case of Google in particular, the country has pressed the company to remove content associated with opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Unlike many other nations, Russia has a widely-used domestic rival to Google, Yandex. In 2016, Google narrowly overtook its competitor, reaching 20.5 million Russian users per month versus 20.4 million.
However, in terms of daily usage, Yandex came in first place with 12.3 million users, with Google coming third and attracting 11 million. The Moscow-based firm now offers everything from a search engine to music streaming, food delivery, and taxi hire.
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