Topline

Russian authorities fined Apple and Alphabet’s Google this week, the latest crackdown from the Kremlin on American technology giants in wake of its Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Key Facts

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Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service said Tuesday it plans to fine Apple an undetermined amount for alleged antitrust violations, saying in a statement Apple “abused its dominant position in the iOS app distribution market,” according to to Reuters.

This comes a day after Russia’s media regulator Roskomnadzor fined Google $374 million largely over its refusal to remove content straying from the Kremlin’s approved war narrative on its YouTube platform.

Though the Apple fine isn’t directly related to its wartime actions, it appears to be part of a broader crackdown on the company as it comes a week after Russian authorities fined Apple about $35,000 for alleged data breach violations – the first such penalty ever levied on Apple in the country, according to to the Associated Press.

Apple and Google did not immediately respond to Forbes‘ request for comment.

Key Background

Russia blocked access to Twitter and Meta's Instagram and Facebook in March over the American social media platforms' designation of Russian state-operated media. Google suspended all ad sales in Russia in early March but kept operating its free services such as search and YouTube in the country, while Apple paused all sales in Russia at the time. Russian authorities fined Meta $27 million and Google $98 million last December over their respective refusals to delete content from their platforms. Russian parliament passed a law in March making it illegal to criticize the Ukraine invasion or even discuss certain facts about the war, punishable with up to 15 years in prison. The Kremlin has engaged in an ongoing saga with Wikipedia over the San Francisco-based online encyclopedia's refusal to change its Russian language entry of the Ukraine invasion to comply with Russia's stringent information laws.

Surprising Fact

The Russian subsidiary of Google said in May it plans to file for bankruptcy after the authorities seized its bank account.

Google Will Declare Bankruptcy In Russia, Says Russian Authorities Seized Bank Account (Forbes,

Putin Escalates Pressure On New Information Foe: Wikipedia (Forbes,