Google fails to remove content deemed illegal by Moscow and restrict access to Russian media on YouTube
Google says its Russian division can no longer pay its bills and plans to file for bankruptcy.
According to Reuters, the move follows Russian authorities’ seizure of the subsidiary’s bank account, blocking its ability to pay suppliers, vendors and meet “other financial obligations.
The company said it has halted ad sales and other commercial activities in Russia except its free services which include Gmail, Maps, Android and YouTube.
For months, Google parent Alphabet has been under pressure for failing to remove content deemed illegal by Moscow and for restricting access to Russian media on YouTube, however, the Kremlin has not yet blocked access to the company’s services.
Google’s most important product, the ad platform, was shut down on March 3 there citing “payment system disruption” after the big four credit card companies all pulled out of the country due to prevailing war situation.
Google boasts of approximately 50% ads market in Russia and the ban is apparently a good news for Yandex, the most popular search engine in Europe.