The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has charged Google with a fine of 200,000 rubles (around $2,720) for openly advertising eToro services, even though the broker is not regulated in Russia.
It was as early as May of this year that the Russian agency first revealed that the search engine giant had violated multiple advertisement laws. Many of these had to do with eToro advertisements that were targeting Russian investors. FAS indicated the false nature of the advertisements and reminded users that the broker is absolutely not licensed to provide training services in the country.
In 2017, eToro ceased to offer FX trading services in Russia altogether.
Representatives of the Russian federal agency did reveal that they take these violations incredibly seriously when it comes down to the security and safety of citizens. Ekaterina Solovieva, the chief of Moscow OFAS Russia, revealed that citizens should not fall prey to advertisements that promise quick profits and fast returns.
Google was fined following an ad campaign that it run through its AdWords platform. Even though the penalty is insignificant, its role is far more symbolic than many might think. This fine, most of all, shows the current stance of the Russian regulator.
This is not the first time that the Russian authorities have penalized Google. In fact this is the fifth time in a series of actions brought against the search engine. Before this a total of 800 000 rubles were r paid by Google for violating advertisement law.