Russian court freezes Google assets — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

The US tech giant has been sued after YouTube blocked the account of a Russian entertainment channel

The Moscow Arbitration Court has frozen the assets of the Russian subsidiary of Google up to 500 million rubles.

The judge ruled in favor of Russian “entertainment television”, which sued the tech giant after YouTube blocked one of its channels, TNT, according to the Interfax news agency.

The plaintiff demanded that Google restore full access to the TNT channel’s YouTube account or face a fine.

In addition to the Russian subsidiary of Google, the American Google LLC as well as the Irish Google Ireland Limited and Google Commerce Limited have all been named as defendants in the court documents.

Presiding judge Ekaterina Titova deemed Entertainment Television’s demands reasonable, noting that the channel would likely incur “considerable lossesunless Google’s assets are frozen.

On April 13, the court dismissed Entertainment Television’s first lawsuit, filed two days earlier, in which the company demanded that all funds and property belonging to Google’s Russian subsidiary, totaling one billion rubles, be frozen.

The preliminary hearing in this case is scheduled for June 1.

Entertainment Television is an affiliate of Gazprom-Media, which owns a number of popular television channels in Russia. Its representatives recounted how in “In March 2022, YouTube effectively blocked the TNT channel’s official account without any clarification, creating technical issues that prevented content from being downloaded and viewers from accessing it.The statement went on to say that “Gazprom-Media had developed this channel and invested in promoting it on the platform, and the content posted there had garnered tens of millions of views.

In mid-March, the same Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of another Russian channel, “Tsargrad”, also blocked by YouTube. Google was ordered to pay the company one billion rubles.

Since the start of the Russian military offensive against its neighbor in late February, YouTube has blocked the channels of several state-funded Russian media outlets, including RT.

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