Russian Court Imposes Additional Penalty of $47 Million on Google for Abuse of Dominant Position
Alphabet’s Google has been fined 4 billion roubles ($47 million) by a Russian Court for not paying a previous fine related to accusations of abusing its dominant position in the video hosting market.
In February 2022, Google was fined 2 billion roubles by the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FA) due to their non-transparent and unpredictable approach to suspending and blocking users’ accounts and content on YouTube.
The FAS doubled the previous fine imposed on Google because of non-payment.
The company is required to pay over 4 billion roubles to the budget of the Russian Federation.
YouTube has globally blocked Russian state-funded media, leading to pressure from state bodies and politicians. Despite this, Moscow has not yet taken the step of blocking the platform, as it has with other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook-owned Instagram.
In March 2022, Google ceased online advertising sales in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. However, certain free services remain accessible.
The company’s Russian branch filed for bankruptcy after its bank account was seized by authorities, resulting in the inability to compensate employees and suppliers.
Accordingly, in November 2022, an arbitration Court in Moscow upheld a 2-billion rouble ($33 million) fine against Google issued by Russia's federal anti-monopoly service over the company's decision to block some YouTube channels.
Google has been ordered to pay the fine within 60 days.