MOSCOW (Reuters) – Facebook has paid 17 million roubles ($229,643) in fines owed in Russia for failing to delete content Moscow deems illegal, the Interfax news agency reported on Sunday, but with the threat of a potentially larger fine looming.
Facebook parent Meta, along with Alphabet’s Google, faces a court case next week for suspected repeated violations of Russian legislation on content and could be fined a percentage of its annual revenue in Russia.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.
Russia in October sent state bailiffs to enforce the collection of 17 million roubles in fines imposed on Facebook. Interfax said there were no more enforcement proceedings against the company as of Sunday, citing the federal bailiff service’s database.
Moscow has increased pressure on large tech firms this year in a campaign that critics characterise as an attempt by the Russian authorities to exert tighter control over the internet, something they say threatens to stifle individual and corporate freedom.
Interfax said messaging app Telegram has also paid 15 million roubles in fines.
Telegram did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
($1 = 74.0279 roubles)
(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; editing by Jason Neely)