Because illegal content was not removed, a court in Moscow imposed heavy fines on Google and Facebook’s umbrella organization Meta. It was the first time that the amount of the fine was based on the companies’ turnover.
Google and Meta fined heavily in Russia
The two umbrella companies Alphabet (Google) and Meta (Facebook) were fined millions by a Moscow court. The penalty amounts to a combined total of about 100 million euros. The reason: Both corporations had repeatedly refused to remove illegal content from their platforms. This reports tagesschau.de with reference to the Interfax news agency.
For the first time, such a penalty is based on the annual revenue generated by the two corporations in Russia. In the case of Google, 7.2 billion rubles (the equivalent of about 86 million euros) in fines will be due, while the penalty against Meta amounts to 2 billion rubles (about 24 million euros).
Affected in the latter case are both Facebook and Instagram, which both belong to Meta. Both corporations had “failed to comply with multiple requests to delete illegal content,” the ruling reads.
Penalty equals 8 percent of revenue
According to a calculation by the Reuters news agency, the amount of the fine thus amounts to about 8 percent of the revenue that Google had generated in Russia in 2021. Google said it would first examine the ruling in detail and then discuss further steps.
For the search engine giant, it is not the first penalty for such an offense in Russia, but probably the first on such a scale.
Companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Tiktok have also been fined in Russia for similar reasons in the past, after the Russian government ramped up pressure on major tech companies this year.
These proceedings between Russian regulator Roskomnadzor and Internet companies are part of a wide-ranging campaign by the government to gain greater control over the Internet and social media.