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Russian Court Fines Google For Dominant Position, Again

 |  June 27, 2023

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, according to the country’s anti-monopoly watchdog on Tuesday.

Reuters reported that Moscow’s campaign against foreign tech companies has resulted in another multi-million dollar fine.

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, as reported by the TASS news agency.

Google appealed the decision and did not respond to a request for comment via email on Tuesday.

Related: Russian Court Upholds $33M Google Fine

The FAS doubled the previous fine imposed on Google because of non-payment.

According to the FAS, 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.