Russia Steps Up Pressure on Google, Meta With Record Fines

A Russian court fined Alphabet's Google 7.2 billion rubles ($98 million) and Meta Platforms 2 billion rubles Friday for failing to remove banned content, the largest such penalties yet, as the authorities escalate a crackdown on foreign technology companies. From a report: The fines were due to the companies' repeated failure to comply with orders to take down content and based on a percentage of their annual earnings in Russia, the federal communications watchdog said in a statement. Google and Meta could face more fines if they don't remove the material, it said. Google is studying the ruling and then will determine its next steps, the company's press service in Moscow said in a statement. Russia has stepped up its confrontation with foreign social media and internet companies this year in what the government calls a campaign to uphold its digital sovereignty. Regulators have levied fines and slowed content in a bid to force companies including Google and Twitter to delete posts encouraging unauthorized protests and other material deemed illegal.

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