Moscow court upheld a decision to ban the professional social network LinkedIn Corporation in Russia in failure to comply with a controversial personal-data law filed by communications regulator, Roskomnadzor and also opened a case against Microsoft Corporation for abusing its dominant market position.
In early August, a lower court ruled in favor of the communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, saying that LinkedIn didn't comply with Russian law on two counts: by not storing information about Russians on servers inside the country, and by processing information about third parties who aren't registered on the site and haven't signed the company's user agreement.
LinkedIn has become the first foreign company to publicly clash with the Russia’s regulator over the controversial law that took effect on Sept. 1, 2015 that requires both foreign and local companies to keep Russians' personal data on Russia-based servers.
In response to the court decision, a spokesman for LinkedIn said the court decision has the potential to deny access to LinkedIn for the millions of members in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses.
LinkedIn has 2.6 million users who access the site from computers and phones in Russia, according to the marketing research firm TNS.
A spokesman for Roskomnadzor said the agency would proceed with blocking the website as soon as it received the court's decision. However, the company said it was interested in meeting with Roskomnadzor to discuss the data-localization law.
Since the law came into effect last year, Roskomnadzor has checked 1,500 companies to ensure they abide by the data- localization law.
Russia has repeatedly clashed with a handful of foreign technology companies, including Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc., who have resisted installing data centers on Russian soil under the new law. Last year, Alphabet Inc.'s Google began moving some of its servers to Russian soil in an effort to comply with the law.
Meanwhile, the Federal Antimonopoly Service stated online that it had opened a case to investigate Microsoft over its antivirus software. According to the statement, they may be giving the company a preferential treatment to its own operating system over that of competitors.
The regulator said the case had been initiated after a complaint by Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity firm.
Earlier this year, Russia fined Alphabet Inc.'s Google 438 million rubles ($6.75 million) for competition violations.