Russia Freezes Google Assets

YouTube has restricted channels linked to various Russian state-funded media organizations. In response, Russia has frozen Google’s assets.

Russia Freezes Google Assets 1

The assets of Google’s Russian subsidiary have been frozen to the tune of 500 million rubles ($6.6 million) by Moscow’s Court of Arbitration.

According to Interfax, the judge ruled in favor of Russia’s ‘Entertainment Television,’ which sued YouTube because one of its channels was disabled.

The plaintiff sought that Google either reinstate complete access to the TNT channel’s account or pay a fine.

Aside from Google’s Russian branch, the court records identified American Google LLC, Google Ireland Limited, and Google Commerce Limited as defendants.

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Ekaterina Titova, the presiding judge, found Entertainment Television’s demands acceptable, noting that the station would likely experience “considerable losses” unless Google’s holdings were seized.

On April 13, the court dismissed Entertainment Television’s initial claim, filed two days earlier, in which the firm sought that all assets and property belonging to Google’s Russian subsidiary be frozen, totaling one billion rubles.

This case’s preliminary court hearing is scheduled for June 1.

Entertainment Television is a subsidiary of Gazprom-Media, which controls a variety of prominent Russian television stations. According to its officials, in “March 2022, YouTube effectively blocked TNT channel’s official account without any clarification, creating technical problems that prevented content from being uploaded and viewers from accessing it.” The statement went on to say that “Gazprom-Media had developed this channel and invested in its promotion on the platform, and the content posted there had been garnering tens of millions of views.”

The same Court of Arbitration decided in favor of another Russian station, ‘Tsargrad,’ which was also suspended by YouTube in mid-March. Google was forced to pay one billion rubles to the company.

YouTube has restricted channels linked to various Russian state-funded media organizations since the commencement of Russia’s military incursion against its neighbor in late February.

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