A Russian court issued Google a hefty fine of 7.2 billion Russian Roubles (~RM411 million) on Friday for repeatedly failing to take down content that Moscow deemed as illegal. The decision marks the first time a court in the country has handed out a find based on revenue.
Later that same day, Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta was given a fine of 2 billion Russian Roubles (~RM114 million) for the same reason of hosting banned content on its platforms. Russia’s communication watchdog Roskomnadzor stated that Facebook and Instagram failed to remove two thousand pieces of content that violate Russian laws, whereas Google kept 2,600 pieces of banned content.
Although this is the first time that a fine was issued based on a percentage of a company’s revenue in the country, it didn’t specify exactly what the percentage was. According to Reuters, the amount fine is approximately 8% of the search engine’s earnings.
Russia has been strong-arming foreign tech companies of late, as it attempts to reign in tech giants within its borders. This year, it passed a law requiring all foreign social media companies to have local representatives or risk being banned. It also started investigating streaming platform Netflix for hosting content that violates its gay propaganda law.