As Russia increases its pressure on global IT firms, a Moscow court smacked Google with an unprecedented high fine of nearly $100 million on Friday.
Moscow has slapped fines on the world’s major internet companies, accusing them of not properly monitoring their material and intervening in domestic matters.
Fines on Facebook’s parent firm Meta, Twitter, and Google, on the other hand, have been in the tens of millions of rubles, not the billions.
On Friday, however, a Moscow court fined Google a record 7.2 billion rubles ($98 million, 86 million euros) for persistently failing to delete banned content, according to the court’s press office on Telegram.
The content was not mentioned, but Russia has a history of pursuing legal action against those who refuse to remove anything that it considers to be illegal, such as pornographic material or posts encouraging drug use or suicide.
“We’ll study the court documents and then decide on next steps,” Google’s press service told AFP.
The enormous payment, according to the Interfax news agency, was calculated as a percentage of Google’s annual earnings and was the maximum penalty for a recurrent infringement.