Following the confiscation of the bank account, Google’s Russian subsidiary is set to file for bankruptcy

May 18 (Reuters) – Google’s Russian subsidiary has seized its bank account, making it impossible for employees and vendors to make payments, but free services, including search and YouTube, will continue to operate, a Google spokesman said Wednesday.

Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL.O) The unit has been under pressure in Russia for months for failing to remove content that Moscow considers illegal and restricting access to certain Russian media outlets on YouTube, but the Kremlin has so far suspended access to the company’s services.

A Google spokesman said: “Google’s Russian bank account has been seized by Russian authorities.

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“Google has issued a statement of intent to file for bankruptcy in Russia.”

This is the first time a TV channel owned by a licensed Russian businessman has claimed to have seized 1 billion rubles ($ 15 million) from Google in April for failing to regain access to its YouTube account. The entire account was confiscated. read more

Google did not immediately confirm whether those funds were confiscated, which led to the intent to file for bankruptcy, or any other confiscation.

Russia’s Federal Belief Service database lists two seizures since mid-March, excluding sums and other penalties and enforcement fees.

The service confirmed the seizure of Google assets and assets.

Google has expelled many of its employees from Russia since Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on February 24. But some stayed.

A statement from Russia’s official Fedresurs on Wednesday said that the Google subsidiary would like to declare bankruptcy and “forecast its inability to meet its cash obligations” from March 22.

Free services to stay

Google, which has suspended advertising sales and other business activities in Russia, said its free services, including Gmail, Maps, Android and Play, will continue to be available to Russian users.

Russia said on Tuesday it had no plans to block Google’s YouTube, despite repeated threats and fines. read more

Rostelecom (RTKM.MM) Chief Executive Mikhail Ozeevsky said on Wednesday that Google, along with all of its servers, was operating as usual in the country, the TASS news agency reported.

In December, Russia handed over to Google a fee of 7.2 billion rubles for Moscow’s repeated claims that it had failed to remove content it deemed illegal, the first revenue-based sentence in that kind of case in Russia.

That fine was increased by 506 million rubles due to the enforcement fee, bail data showed.

The Spark database of Russian companies, the Interfax news agency, shows that Google’s Russian subsidiary will have revenue of 134.3 billion rubles in 2021.

Alphabet said last month that Russia had 1% or about $ 2.6 billion in revenue last year.

($ 1 = 63.9570 rubles)

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Report by Reuters; Editing Elaine Hardcase, Guy Balkanbridge, David Clark and Barbara Lewis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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