Google Faces New Russian Fines

The ongoing battle between Google and Russian regulators continued on Wednesday, as the country’s communications agency said the tech giant could be fined again for not deleting banned content, according to Reuters.

Regulator Roskomnadzor said that Google’s YouTube video-sharing site has “deliberately” promoted content it says is “misleading information about the progress of the special military operation in Ukraine,” while adding that it is “discrediting the armed forces of the Russian Federation.”

In late February, Russia invaded Ukraine, an action it calls a “special military operation.” Roskomnadzor added that a second fine could result in a levy of between 5% and 10% of annual turnover in Russia, with the exact amount determined by a court.

Google has already been fined once in Russia, receiving a levy of more than 7B roubles ($143M) for failing to delete illegal content late last year.

Last week, it was reported that Google’s Russian subsidiary had filed for bankruptcy. Despite the bankruptcy filing, free Google services, such as Google Search, YouTube, Gmail, Maps, and Google Play will remain accessible in Russia,.

Separately last week, a Russian government official said that he expected Google to remain in the country.

The official who made the comments, Anton Gorelkin, the deputy head of the State Duma committee on information policy, added that Moscow did not intend to block its video-sharing site, YouTube.

Google parent Alphabet recently allowed advertising rivals to place ads on YouTube – a concession that offered a path to settle an EU antitrust investigation without a fine.

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