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Court rules to block LinkedIn in Russia

Social networking site LinkedIn could soon be blocked in Russia after a court ruled against the company Thursday.

Court spokeswoman Ulyana Solopova told the Associated Press that Russian law requires companies to store its citizens’ personal data on servers within the country.

Russia could move to block the website as early as next week, when the country’s telecommunications and media regulator receives the full text of the court’s ruling, the AP reported.

“The Russian court’s decision has the potential to deny access to LinkedIn for the millions of members we have in Russia and the companies that use LinkedIn to grow their businesses,” the company said in a statement, according to Reuters.

The statement added that the company would still be interested in meeting with the Russian regulator to discuss localizing its data storage.

Russia’s anti-monopoly regulator has also sued Microsoft, which is in the process of acquiring LinkedIn for $26 billion. The lawsuit announced charged on Thursday that Microsoft did not give antivirus developers time to adapt to the new Windows system, the AP reports.

“Such actions lead to an unjustified advantage for Microsoft in the program market. Our task is to ensure equal conditions for all participants in this market,” FAS deputy head Anatoly Golomolzin said in a statement.

The case against LinkedIn sets a precedent for other social site operations in Russia and signals a tighter hold on internet use by Russia. The law LinkedIn was found to have violated went into effect in 2014, but Fortune Magazine points out no other major social media company complies with the regulation.

LinkedIn, which has 6 million users registered in Russia, can appeal.

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