Google’s Russian subsidiary to file for chapter after checking account seized

Might 18 (Reuters) – Google’s Russian subsidiary plans to file for chapter after authorities seized its checking account, making it not possible to pay workers and distributors, however free companies together with search and YouTube will maintain working, a Google spokesperson mentioned on Wednesday.

The Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) unit has been underneath stress in Russia for months for failing to delete content material Moscow deems unlawful and for proscribing entry to some Russian media on YouTube, however the Kremlin has thus far stopped wanting blocking entry to the corporate’s companies.

“The Russian authorities seizure of Google Russia’s checking account has made it untenable for our Russia workplace to perform, together with using and paying Russia-based staff, paying suppliers and distributors, and assembly different monetary obligations,” a Google spokesperson mentioned.

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“Google Russia has revealed a discover of its intention to file for chapter.”

A TV channel owned by a sanctioned Russian businessman mentioned in April that bailiffs had seized 1 billion rubles ($ 15 million) from Google over its failure to revive entry to its YouTube account, however that is the primary time the US tech large has mentioned its checking account as entire has been seized. learn extra

Google didn’t instantly affirm whether or not it was the seizure of these funds that led to its intention to file for chapter, or whether or not different seizures had occurred.

The database of Russia’s Federal Bailiffs Service listed two seizures since mid-March, with out specifying the quantities, in addition to different fines and enforcement charges.

The service confirmed that it had seized Google belongings and property.

Google had moved lots of its staff out of Russia since Moscow despatched tens of hundreds of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24. However some had remained.

A be aware posted on Russia’s official registry Fedresurs on Wednesday mentioned the Google subsidiary was meaning to declare chapter and since March 22 had foreseen an “incapability to meet its financial obligations,” together with severance pay, remuneration for present and former workers and well timed necessary funds.

FREE SERVICES TO STAY

Google, which has paused advert gross sales and most different industrial operations in Russia, mentioned its free companies, together with Gmail, Maps, Android and Play, would stay accessible for Russian customers.

Russia mentioned on Tuesday it was not planning to dam Google’s YouTube, despite repeated threats and fines, acknowledging that such a transfer would seemingly see Russian customers undergo and will subsequently be prevented. learn extra

Rostelecom (RTKM.MM) Chief Government Mikhail Oseevskiy mentioned on Wednesday that Google was working as regular within the nation, together with all its servers, the TASS information company reported.

In December, Russia handed Google a 7.2 billion ruble cost for what Moscow mentioned was a repeated failure to delete content material Russia deems unlawful, the primary revenue-based penalty of that type of case in Russia.

That advantageous elevated by 506 million rubles as a consequence of an enforcement payment, bailiffs knowledge confirmed.

Google’s Russian subsidiary’s 2021 income was 134.3 billion rubles, Interfax information company’s Spark database of Russian corporations confirmed.

Alphabet mentioned final month that Russia accounted for 1% of its income final 12 months, or about $ 2.6 billion.

($ 1 = 63.9570 rubles)

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Reporting by Reuters; Modifying by Elaine Hardcastle, Man Faulconbridge, David Clarke and Barbara Lewis

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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