Russian Yandex - Russia News

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A draft law proposing to limit foreign ownership in ‘significant’ Russian technology firms to 20% is not aimed at making its top search engine Yandex state-owned, the lawmaker behind the idea, Anton Gorelkin, said. The draft law, submitted to Russia’s lower house of parliament, the Duma, in late July, proposes limiting foreign ownership in internet firms to 20% if they are considered by a special commission to be a “significant source of information”. The draft, prepared by Gorelkin, raised concerns it would damage the ability of Russian companies to compete globally. It has attracted criticism from several sides, including from the companies themselves. “I believe that Yandex should not be state-owned, but it should be Russian,” Gorelkin said. “Not only Yandex, but all the companies that are systematically important for our IT market.” The proposal concerns only the companies for which the Russian market is core, which means, if approved, it would not affect Facebook or Google, Gorelkin said. “Facebook has about 20 million users in Russia, and Yandex has about 100 million,” Gorelkin said. “We are talking about companies focused on Russia – this would concern neither Google, nor Facebook.” The draft law may impact three to five key players in the Russian IT sector, he said, without naming them. Along with Yandex, Russian internet group Mail.Ru, which owns social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, warned against adopting the law in its form as of late July. Critics say Russian authorities have over recent years taken steps to tighten control…

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