A Mexico City court on Friday ordered Google to pay $245 million to a Mexican lawyer who said the U.S. tech giant allowed the spread of a blog accusing it of money laundering.
Google said it would appeal the decision.
“We deplore the conviction,” Google said in a brief statement received by UKTN, confirming the fine of five billion pesos (234.25 million euros).
Google said the decision was “arbitrary, excessive and without any merit. Google will defend itself until the last resort.”
The plaintiff is a Mexican lawyer, Ulrich Richter Morales, who accused the technology platform of allowing a blog to be published implicating him in alleged crimes of money laundering, influence peddling and falsification of documents.
“I’m speechless. Thank you,” Richter Morales tweeted. He is the author of several books on citizenship, one of which is called “Digital Citizen. Fake news and post-truth in the internet age”.
Richter Morales said he asked Google to remove the anonymous blog in 2015. He then sued for “moral damage” and won at first instance.
The case could go all the way to the Supreme Court.
The Mexican court ruling, dated June 13, “undermines freedom of expression and other fundamental principles,” Google said in a statement.
“We expect the federal courts to act strictly in accordance with these principles,” he said.
Google has already faced a number of such complaints in other countries.
In early June, an Australian federal court ordered Google to pay more than 466,000 euros ($487,700) to an Australian politician who believed he was defamed in videos by a comedian hosted on Google-owned YouTube.
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