Russian bailiffs are preparing to enforce a 7 billion rubles ($100 million) fine imposed on Google for publishing information banned in Russia.
Google was fined in December for refusing to remove information banned by Russia. Other fines have been added to Google since the invasion of Ukraine in February. Last week, Russia's Federal Bailiff Service (FSSP) applied for permission to forcibly seize the money from the company. Now bailiffs have applied for permission to seize the money.
Google was first fined on December 24, 2021, before the war broke out, for failing to remove "prohibited information" from YouTube, which the Russian regulator Roskomnadzor said came from extremist and terrorist organizations. It was a repeated offense, and subject to a fine up to one-tenth of the proceeds for the previous year.
Roskomnadzor said that YouTube was hosting videos aimed at inciting religious hatred, showing how to buy and make weapons, and promoting drugs.
Google filed an appeal, but the fine was upheld on February 28 by the Tagansky District Court.
Once the war broke out, Roskomnadzor ordered media within Russia to only publish information from official sources about the conflict, and to describe it as a "special military operation" not a "war." In March, President Vladimir Putin introduced jail terms of up to ten years for distributing "deliberately false information."
Further fines have been added to Google for breaking these instructions.
A roundup by RadioFree Europe lists an 11 million ruble ($134,500) fine, for hosting YouTube videos with banned content about Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine. On April 21, as well as a four million ruble ($50,000) fine for failing to delete banned content on demand. In a further case, Google was ordered to pay 7 million rubles ($87,000) for distributing materials produced by Ukraine's Azov military group and the Ukrainian far-right group Right Sector.
Roskomnadzor has accused Google of allowing YouTube to be "one of the key platforms spreading fake news" about the war, and promised to institute an advertising ban and other measures. The regulator has also blocked Facebook.