Google Russia wants to file for bankruptcy
Google Russia wants to file for bankruptcy

The Russian subsidiary of Google is planning to file for bankruptcy after authorities confiscated its bank accounts, leaving it unable to pay the salaries of its employees and suppliers. But the free services, including Search and YouTube, still work. Russians rely on his services for reliable information.

The Russian branch reported that in 2021 Russia generated 134.3 billion rubles ($2.086 billion) and employed more than 100 people.

"The Russian authorities have confiscated the bank accounts of the Russian company Google, which makes it impossible to continue our operations in Russia, including hiring and paying employees residing in Russia. In Russia, paying vendors and suppliers and meeting other financial obligations," a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

Google Russia has announced its desire to file for bankruptcy and can no longer keep the subsidiary.

The company has been under pressure in Russia for months for failing to remove content Moscow considers illegal and to restrict access to some Russian media via YouTube. But the Kremlin did not block access to the company's services.

A TV channel owned by a sanctioned Russian businessman said in April that authorities had confiscated 1 billion rubles ($15 million) from Google for failing to recover accounts accessing the channel via YouTube.

But this is the first time that the American tech giant has announced that its entire bank account has been confiscated.

The company did not confirm whether the confiscation of funds led to its bankruptcy proposal or whether there was another confiscation.

The Russian Federal Debt Collection Service database lists two seizures since mid-March, but does not specify the amount, fines and other fees.

The service confirmed that it had seized the company's assets and property. Google confirmed that it has withdrawn many of its employees from Russia since Moscow deployed tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on February 24.

Russian bank account confiscated by Google

Official Russian financial documents show that the Google subsidiary wanted to file for bankruptcy. As of March 22, it is expected that he will not be able to meet his financial obligations, including severance payments, bonuses to current and former employees, and mandatory one-time payments.

Google has stopped selling ads and most other businesses in Russia. However, he said that Russian users can still use free services, including Mail and Maps.

Russia says it has no plans to ban YouTube, despite repeated threats and fines. He admitted that such a step could be painful for Russian users and should be avoided.

“Google is operating as usual in the country, including all its servers,” said Mikhail Ussevsky, CEO of Rostelecom.

In December, Russia fined Google 7.2 billion rubles ($98 million). The fine was due to the company's repeated refusal to remove content that Russia considers illegal.

The fine amounted to about 8% of the company's turnover in Russia. This is Russia's first penalty for the proceeds of such a deal.

The turnover of the Russian company Google in 2021 will be 134.3 billion rubles. Alphabet said last month that Russia took 1% of its sales last year, or about $2.6 billion.

Google appears to be the first major tech company to file for bankruptcy in Russia due to the war with Ukraine. Others, such as Microsoft, Meta and Apple, have halted all operations in the country. But the Russian subsidiary has not yet filed for bankruptcy.

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