A court in Russia on Friday sentenced US technology company Google to a record fine of 7.2 billion rubles (about 87 million euros) for failing to remove some “banned” content from the Internet. According to the judge in Moscow, Google is guilty of “recidivism.”
A few hours later, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, was also sentenced to a fine of 1.9 billion rubles (transferred 23.8 million euros) for the same actions. Meta is also accused of recidivism. The fine is calculated based on the volume of sales that companies make in Russia.
Moscow has cracked down on major technological players in recent years, which the West considers censorship. Last month, Google and the messaging service Telegram were fined for similar violations of 2 million and 4 million rubles, respectively. In April, Apple was fined millions for abusing its dominant position, and in September both Apple and Google were accused of meddling in Russia’s parliamentary elections. The website of opponent Alexei Navalny, among other things, has been cut down.
Russian technology companies also saw rain. Earlier this month, VK Corporation, which controls the social network VKontakte in Russia, acquired a new CEO. It relates to Vladimir Kirienko, the son of a confidant of President Vladimir Putin.
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