Russia seizes Google’s bank account
The Russian subsidiary of Google on Wednesday said it planned to file for bankruptcy after authorities held its bank account, thus making it difficult for the company to pay salaries to staff and vendors.
A Google spokesperson said free services including search and YouTube would be functioning as normal, in spite of the bankruptcy move.
The Russian unit has been under pressure for months for not deleting content which Russian authorities deem illegal and for restricting access to some Russian media on YouTube, but the Kremlin had till now only stopped access to the company’s services.
“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,” the Google spokesperson said.
This is the first time that the search giant has admitted to its bank account as a whole being seized.
Google did not immediately confirm whether it was the seizure of specific major funds or whether other seizures had occurred.
The database of Russia’s Federal Bailiffs Service mentions two seizures since mid-March, without specifying the amounts, as well as other fines and enforcement fees.
The service confirmed that it had seized all of Google’s assets and property. Google had moved many of its employees out of Russia since Moscow began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24. But some have stayed back.
According to reports, a note posted on Wednesday on Russia’s official registry said that the Russian subsidiary was planning to declare bankruptcy and since March 22 had predicted an “inability to fulfill its monetary obligations,” including severance pay, remuneration for current and former staff, and timely mandatory payments.
The U.S. search giant, which has paused ad sales and most other commercial operations in Russia, said its free services, including Gmail, Maps, Android, and Play, will remain available for Russian users.
The Russian government had earlier said it was not planning to block YouTube, amid repeated threats and fines, saying that such a move would likely see Russian users suffer and therefore, should not be undertaken.
In 2021, the Russian subsidiary’s revenue was 134.3 billion roubles, Interfax news agency’s Spark database of Russian companies have shown.
Google said in April that Russia accounted for ONE per cent of its revenue last year, or about $2.6 billion.
We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.
More from Peoples Gazette
Mr Ortom had said unless Mr Wike was appeased, PDP would risk losing the state votes during the 2023 presidential election.
NDLEA’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, that the septuagenarian was arrested on September 20 at Anguwan Sate in the Mayo Belwa council area of Adamawa.
Mr Ojediran stressed that Nigerian academicians outside the country were well paid compared to those in the country.
Mr Abdulraheem told journalists that the unit impounded at least 20,000 commercial motorcycles between January and September.
The motion on notice filed by an applicant Emmanuel Agonsi was scheduled for a hearing on Monday by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, John Tsoho.
MC Lively in a chat with Chude Jideonwo said that he was offered N5,000 at a law firm as a National Youth Corps member, describing it as “upsetting.”