A Russian entrepreneur, Vladimir Orehov, has filed a lawsuit against Google in Russia because of the search giant’s restrictions on cryptocurrency-related ads. The entrepreneur is claiming over $34.7 million in compensation from a Russian Google entity ООО «Гугл».
Orehov is claiming that undue prejudice and unfair business practices by Google have denied him the opportunity to invest in cryptocurrency projects and also find venture capital for his own ambitions in the arena.
Vladimir Orehov has claimed that the lost business opportunities have essentially cost him money. He is claiming compensation for loss of earnings.
Moral Damage and An End to Ambitions
Orehov termed the suffering he has endured because of Google’s decision to be “moral damage” and also wants the ban lifted. Google will bring the ban into complete effect by June 2018, restricting ads about cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, wallets, cryptocurrency exchanges and cryptocurrency tips and trading advice. Google’s announcement comes hard on the heels of a similar ban enacted by Facebook.
The Russian Orehov has been working on a decentralized cryptocurrency ATM network with a mobile wallet and payment system. He was planning an ICO in which he hoped to raise $2 million. He is claiming that he lost access to potential investors “overnight” due to the impending ban.
He also claimed that restrictions on ICO advertising prevent him from accessing pertinent token sale information by his peers and rivals. It all adds up, according to the papers filed in Moscow, to missed earning opportunities from “promising investments” that he now wants to be compensated for.
Ever open to technology, there have been calls in the Russian houses to not oppose cryptocurrency ads. Mikhail Emelyanov, Deputy Head of the parliamentary Legislation Committee in the Duma, although not a fan of digital currencies, thinks the effort to ban their promotion isn’t worth it.
Emelyanov also worries that bans are draconian and wants the Russian people to be able to make their own choices. He said: “That’s why I wouldn’t rush to copy Google and take such decisions. We shouldn’t ban everything all the time. People have heads on their shoulders and the right to choose.”
Not The First Russian Lawsuit for Google
There is a flip side to the lawmaker’s embracing stance – he made it clear that the Russian government won’t be entertaining claims for compensation if investors burn their fingers. Along with the autonomy and freedom to choose, comes the freedom to suffer loses all by yourself in Russia.
If restrictions were avoided, people needed to educate themselves, make their own decisions and suffer their own fates. The government would not be sympathetic to people lining up outside the state’s doors in the event of speculative losses in the virtual currency arena.
Google recently lost another Russian case, when the Russian search giant Yandex complained that Google was engaged in anti-competitive practices around mobile devices. By trying to force device makers to install mandatory Google apps alongside Android, the company found sanction in the courts and was forced to pay compensation. Whether Orehov will be successful along similar lines remains to be seen.
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