19 Oct 2019 14:33

Govt recommends restricting foreign participation in significant Internet resources to 50% minus one share - source

MOSCOW. Oct 18 (Interfax) - The government recommended restricting foreign participation in significant Internet resources in terms of voting shares to 50% minus one share, a source at the parliament told Interfax.

The government's review of parliamentarian Anton Gorelkin's bill introducing amendments to the federal law on information, information technologies and information protection to restrict foreign ownership of significant online resource to 20% has been forwarded to the parliament, the source said.

"The government endorsed the bill provided that it envisages the requirement of restricting foreign participation in these resources to 50% minus one share when it comes to voting shares," the source said.

The government also suggested revising the list of the objective criteria of designating information resources as significant in order to avoid a subjective evaluation in these procedures.

The bill was discussed at the State Duma on Thursday; representatives of IT companies, ministries and experts took part in it.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) and telecommunication regulator Roskomnadzor conceptually backed the bill, proposing that changed be made to it, while the Russian Communications Ministry declined to support it. Representatives of IT companies, including Yandex CEO Elena Bunina, said that this type of regulatory mechanism will impede attraction of foreign capital to Russia.

The relevant bill was submitted to the State Duma by deputy Anton Gorelkin, a member of the United Russia faction, on July 26.

"A website and (or) an online page of a website, and (or) an information system, and (or) a software for electronic computation machines, the use of which provides their owner with the opportunity to collect information about users who are residing in Russia can be identified as significant information resources for the development of the information and communication infrastructure in Russia, as well as the data processing technology," the bill's text says.

A Russian legal entity or a Russian citizen will be able to serve as the main owner of this kind of resource, while the share of foreign capital in a Russian legal entity could be restricted to 20% of voting shares.