According to communications regulator Roskomndzor, Google failed to pay 32.5 million roubles ($458,100) in penalties imposed this year so far. Roskomnadzor has said it will now seek a fine of 5-20% of Google’s Russian turnover. This could total as much as $240 million.
Recently, Russia has stepped up pressure on foreign tech companies, lowering the speed of Twitter and routinely imposing fines on other tech firms. Alphabet and Google have both been accused of caving to the Kremlin pressure after they took an anti-government tactical voting app down from their stores.
Earlier this month, Roskomnadzor said it would ask a court to impose a turnover fine on social media giant Facebook, citing legislation cited in December 2020 by President Putin.
Currently, Google is battling a Moscow court ruling demanding it to unblock the YouTube account of Konstantin Malofeev, a sanctioned Russian businessman, or otherwise face a compounding fine on its overall profits that would double each week. If paid, the colossal fine would force the tech giant out of business within a matter of months.