Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google was fined $80,881 by Russia for not deleting content the government deems illegal. This is the second time the American technology behemoth has been issued with such a penalty in a span of seven days.
In the broader standoff, Russia seems to be having with big tech, the government has not only hit Google but many other tech corporations with several small fines over the past twelve months or so. Some have been penalized for allowing banned content, while others have been fined for not localizing user information on Russian soil. Moscow also intends on ensuring foreign tech companies open offices in the country.
Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President, has signed legislation that will force foreign tech companies to open offices in the country. This is Moscow’s latest move to try and get more control over Big Tech. The Russian government is still keen on getting more control over online activities in the country and the internet in general. It also wants to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign tech companies and governments.
Russia has continued to penalize tech giants for airing or publishing what they consider banned or illegal content. For example, the authorities have punished Twitter by slowing down its speed and recently penalized Alphabet Inc for failing to delete illegal content.
Nature of the penalty
Moscow’s Tagansky District Court said Alphabet Inc has been issued three administrative penalties worth about two million roubles each. Google confirmed it was issued with these fines. However, it didn’t comment further on that. Google had been fined earlier for the same offense, and this new penalty pushed their fines total to fourteen million roubles.
Alphabet Inc also has to answer to a court order in Moscow forcing it to unblock the YouTube account of a sanctioned Russian business mogul. There’s an appeal to be heard on September 20.