According to a fresh report, the Russian antitrust regulator “Federal Antimonopoly Service” (FAS) announced today that it has imposed a fine of 2 billion rubles (about 235 million yuan) on Google. According to the lawsuit, Google has some sort of monopoly with YouTube. The search giant’s video platform currently dominates the video hosting market in Russia. We all know that this is not coming by coincidence. Russia is trying to retaliate against Google, after all, the search giant has been following western companies and putting restrictions on the services offered to Russia after the war with Ukraine. The Russian antitrust regulator wants Google to pay a fine of around 34,771,029.07 Dollars, which is over 2 Billion Russian Rubles.
According to a Russian regulator, Google is “abusing the YouTube dominance as primary video hosting service”. In addition, FAS did not provide further details about this abuse. However, Russia’s state communications watchdog, the Federal Service for the Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, said last month that YouTube deliberately spread disinformation. It also reportedly allows the spread of extremist views and called children to participate in unauthorized protests.
Google gave a very short statement on the case: “We will study this decision carefully before determining our next steps”. The FAS states that Google must pay the fine within two months of the fine taking effect.
Of course, this is just another step for Russia to strengthen the supervision of American technology companies. Back in the last week, Google was fined 21.8 billion rubles for failing to remove illegal content and for failing to correct it. Back in 2021, way before the war, a Moscow court fined Google $98 billion. The reason? repeatedly failing to remove content deemed illegal by Russia. Russia has fined Google several times for failing to remove illegal content. However, the fines are growing recently.
The search giant obviously is not the only target for Russia. The country has also been fining and suing Apple and other US-based companies forward and backward.