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Russian govt discusses tax on global IT companies

Russia’s government is discussing a possible new tax on global IT firms that use Russian data to analyse user behaviour and offer contextual advertising, the Vedomosti newspaper reported on Thursday.

The funds gathered from the tax would be used to support domestic IT companies, it said. The measure was discussed at a government meeting with the IT industry last week that was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko, it said.

A decision on introducing the tax is expected by halfway through this year, Vedomosti cited an unnamed source at the meeting as saying.

The discussions come as Russia has taken steps in recent months to exert greater influence over foreign social media platforms.

Last December, the lower house of parliament backed large new fines on platforms that fail to delete banned content and another bill that would allow U.S. social media giants to be restricted if they “discriminate” against Russian media.

Russia has also accused U.S. social media giants of failing to identify fake posts over street rallies protesting the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Reuters

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