Google was hit with an additional RUB4 billion ($46.6 million) fine by Russia’s anti-monopoly agency for failing to pay a previous penalty over alleged abuse of its dominance in the video hosting market, further escalating a row between the pair.
TASS news agency reported Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) added RUB4 billion to a fine of RUB2 billion imposed in February 2022 over claims regarding the transparency of Google’s YouTube service.
Authorities cited a “biased and unpredictable” approach to suspending and blocking YouTube user accounts and content.
Google appealed the original fine at the time and apparently opted not to pay up, resulting in the FAS demanding the additional sum, which must be paid within 60 days.
The fines add to a penalty of RUB21.1 billion imposed in July 2022 over what communications regulator Roskomnadzor stated was a repeated failure to remove content deemed illegal from its platform, mainly regarding Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
Russia has had issues with Google for years regarding content it deems illegal on YouTube, but tensions escalated after the war with Ukraine began.
The political situation also led to Alphabet suspending the vast majority of its activities in Russia and filing for bankruptcy in the country.