Russia’s antimonopoly service fines Google over Ali Trade advertisement

Maria Nikolova

Russia’s FAS has imposed a RUB 100,000 fine on Google LLC over inappropriate ads of Ali Trade’s financial services.

About a month after the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) concluded that Google LLC violated the Law on Advertising by distributing financial services ads for Ali Trade via Google AdWords, the regulator has determined the penalty for the respondent.

As per an announcement made by FAS earlier today, Google LLC has been fined RUB 100,000 for distributing the ads of financial services by Ali Trade which has no license to carry out such activities. In particular, Google has breached point 7, article 7 of the “Law on Advertising”, which prohibits the advertising of services and products offered by entities that lack the required licenses or special permissions for such services and products.

According to the investigation into a complaint against Ali Trade’s ads, when googling “profitable investments”, Google returned an ad about investments offered by Ali Trade. The regulator considers that the ad leads the public to believe that Ali Trade is an investment fund, whereas Ali Trade, in fact, does not have the necessary license.

That is why, FAS determined that the ad is in breach of advertising laws. FAS has issued an instruction to Google LLC to put an end to the violation.

Russia’s FAS is rather active when it comes to tackling illegal financial ads online. In July this year, for instance, FAS said it had launched a probe into ads of online trading company InstaForex distributed via Yandex. The problematic advertising message says “InstaForex- official website – broker licensed by the Central Bank”. The authorities then reminded the public that an entity cannot advertise services and products that it is not licensed to offer.

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