Russia fines Google again for failing to remove banned content

FILE PHOTO: The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London
FILE PHOTO: The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain November 1, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

August 19, 2021

MOSCOW (Reuters) -A Moscow court on Thursday fined Alphabet Inc’s Google 6 million roubles ($80,881) for failing to delete content that Russia deems illegal, the second such penalty to be imposed on the U.S. tech giant in less than a week.

Amid a wider standoff with Big Tech, Russia has hit Google and other companies with a series of small fines in the past year, some concerning banned content and others for failing to localise user data on Russian territory.

Moscow is also seeking to compel foreign technology firms to open offices in Russia.

The Tagansky District Court in Moscow said on Thursday Google had been handed three administrative fines of 2 million roubles each.

Google confirmed the fines, but offered no further comment.

The penalty was in addition to fines totalling 14 million roubles on Tuesday for the same offence.

Google is also the subject of a Moscow court order obliging it to unblock a YouTube account owned by a sanctioned Russian businessman. An appeal hearing is scheduled for Sept. 20.​

($1 = 74.1830 roubles)

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow, Maria Kiselyova and Maria Vasilyeva; Editing by Susan Fenton)