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Russia’s Google subsidiary will declare bankruptcy after Russian authorities confiscated its bank accounts: We can’t even pay salaries

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A Google spokesman said free services, including search and YouTube, will work normally despite the bankruptcy announcement.

The Russian subsidiary has been under pressure for months for not deleting content that the Russian authorities consider illegal and for restricting access to Russian media on YouTube, but the Kremlin has so far only blocked access to the company’s services.

“Russian authorities have confiscated Google Russia’s bank account and made it impossible for our Russian office to operate, including hiring and paying Russian-based employees, paying suppliers and vendors, and fulfilling other financial obligations,” he said. Google.

This is the first time the company has admitted that its entire bank account was confiscated.

The Russian Federal Bailiffs Service database lists two seizures since mid-March, without specifying the amounts, as well as other fines and enforcement fees. The service has confirmed that it has seized all of Google’s assets and properties.

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Google has moved many of its employees out of Russia after Moscow began invading Ukraine on February 24th. But some remained.

According to a note posted on the Russian official register on Wednesday, the Russian subsidiary planned to file for bankruptcy and on March 22 predicted an “inability to meet its monetary obligations”, including severance pay, remuneration for current and former employees and mandatory timely payments. .

The US search giant, which has cut off ad sales and most other commercial operations in Russia, said its free services, including Gmail, Maps, Android and Play, will remain available to Russian users.

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The Russian government has previously said it does not intend to block YouTube, despite repeated threats and fines, saying such a move is likely to hurt Russian users and should not be taken.

In 2021, the Russian subsidiary’s revenues amounted to 134.3 billion rubles, according to the Spark database of the Interfax news agency on Russian companies. Google said in April that Russia accounted for 1% of its revenue last year, or about $ 2.6 billion.

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