Tech

Google's Russian unit will file for bankruptcy after authorities seized its bank account, reports

Business Insider US
Google logo displayed on a phone screen and Russian flag displayed on a screen in the background. Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Google logo displayed on a phone screen and Russian flag displayed on a screen in the background. Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • Google said the seizure of its bank account made it impossible for it to pay vendors and employees, the FT reported.
  • The company will still run its free services such as search, Youtube, and Gmail for its Russian users.
  • Relations between Google and Russian authorities had deteriorated following the invasion of Ukraine.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Google's Russian unit will file for bankruptcy after authorities seized the tech firm's bank account, according to media reports.

Google's local unit is unable to pay its employees, suppliers and vendors in Russia as a result of the seizure, the company told the Financial Times, and had published a notice of its intention to file for bankruptcy. The firm will continue to offer its search, YouTube and other free services in Russia, it told the paper. 

Relations between Google and Russian authorities, already strained prior to the Kremlin's order to invade Ukraine, deteriorated after the company declined to bow to pressure from Moscow to remove content related to the conflict. Google's local unit was fined 11mn roubles ($173,000) in April for not deleting Ukraine videos from YouTube, which Moscow deemed "banned content", according to the FT.

"The Russian authorities' seizure of Google Russia's bank account has made it untenable for our Russia office to function, including employing and paying Russia-based employees, paying suppliers and vendors, and meeting other financial obligations," a Google spokesperson told the FT.

Google did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

According to Reuters, Russia's Federal Bailiffs Service database shows two seizures linked to Google since mid-March. The service confirmed to the newswire that it had seized Google's assets and property.

Russia's official registry, Fedresurs, said that Google had foreseen filing for bankruptcy as early as March 22, due to the "the impossibility of fulfilling monetary obligations."

Google shut most of its operations in Russia following the start of the invasion, and moved many of its employees out of the country, it confirmed to Reuters. It had already stopped selling advertising in Russia, including search and YouTube ads, and banned Russian state-sponsored media from YouTube in Europe, including channels RT and Sputnik.


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