Topline

Russian authorities this week fined Alphabet’s Apple and Google, the Kremlin’s latest crackdown on the US tech giants following its Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Highlights

Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service said on Tuesday it plans to fine Apple an undetermined amount for alleged violations of antitrust laws, saying in a statement that Apple “abused its dominant position on the iOS application distribution market”. according at Reuters.

It comes a day after Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor a fine Google $374 million largely for its refusal to remove content deviating from the Kremlin-approved war narrative on its YouTube platform.

While Apple’s fine isn’t directly related to its wartime actions, it appears to be part of a wider crackdown on the company as it comes a week after Russian authorities imposed a fine of approximately $35,000 to Apple for alleged data breach violations – the first such penalty ever imposed. on Apple in the country, according at the Associated Press.

Apple and Google did not immediately respond to Forbes‘ request for comment.

Key Context

Russia blocked access to Twitter and Meta’s Instagram and Facebook in March following US social media platforms’ designation of Russian state-run media. Google suspended all ad sales in Russia in early March, but continued to operate its free services such as search and YouTube in the country, while Apple on break all sales in Russia at the time. Russian authorities a fine Meta $27 million and Google $98 million last December for their respective refusals to remove content from their platforms. The Russian parliament passed a law in March making it illegal to criticize the invasion of Ukraine or even discuss certain facts about the war, punishable with up to 15 years in prison. The Kremlin has engaged in an ongoing saga with Wikipedia over the San Francisco-based online encyclopedia’s refusal to change its Russian language entry of the invasion of Ukraine to comply with strict Russian laws on the ‘information.

Surprising fact

Google’s Russian subsidiary said in May that it planned to file for bankruptcy after authorities seized its bank account.

To monitor

If American companies ever actually paid the fines. Alphabet and Meta paid Russian authorities hundreds of thousands in fines last year for content infringement. But neither has said whether they plan to pay their multimillion-dollar fines, and Google’s bankruptcy filing said it likely has no plans to. pay.

Further reading

Google will declare bankruptcy in Russia, according to the Russian authorities, bank account seized (Forbes)

Putin steps up pressure on new enemies of information: Wikipedia (Forbes)