Operation Vk 2.0. A bill on news aggregators has been submitted. "Yandex.News" will be closed if the service does not change the owner

    Yesterday, the State Duma received a draft law “On Amendments to Article 10 4 of the Federal Law“ On Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection ””.

    The bill prohibits foreigners and persons with foreign participation to own news aggregators. And those legal entities where foreigners indirectly control more than 20% of shares or shares should not control, manage, or in any way influence the management of the news aggregator.

    If the bill is adopted, then the Yandex.News service is threatened with a ban on working in Russia. The only way out is to change the owner. For example, go under public administration.

    On the photo: Arkady Volozh, founder and main shareholder of Yandex, has citizenship of Russia and Malta.

    Excerpt from the text of the bill (significant moments)
    1) иностранное государство, международная организация, а также находящаяся под их контролем организация, иностранное юридическое лицо, российское юридическое лицо с иностранным участием, иностранный гражданин, лицо без гражданства, гражданин Российской Федерации, имеющий гражданство другого государства, в совокупности или каждый в отдельности, не вправе выступать владельцем новостного агрегатора;

    2) иностранное государство, международная организация, а также находящаяся под их контролем организация, иностранное юридическое лицо, российское юридическое лицо, доля иностранного участия в уставном капитале которого составляет более 20 процентов, иностранный гражданин, лицо без гражданства, гражданин Российской Федерации, имеющий гражданство другого государства, в совокупности или каждый в отдельности, не вправе осуществлять владение, управление либо контроль прямо или косвенно (в том числе через подконтрольных лиц или посредством владения в совокупности более 20 процентами долей (акций) любого лица) в отношении более 20 процентов долей (акций) в уставном капитале лица, являющегося участником (членом, акционером) владельца новостного агрегатора.

    3) не допускается установление лицами, указанными в пункте 1 настоящей части, любых иных форм контроля над владельцем новостным агрегатором, равно как и над лицами, являющимися участниками (членами, акционерами) владельца новостного агрегатора, в результате которого указанные лица приобретают возможность прямо или косвенно владеть, управлять владельцем новостного агрегатора, контролировать его, а также фактически определять принимаемые им решения;

    4) лица, являющиеся участниками владельца новостного агрегатора, в случае несоответствия требованиям настоящей статьи не вправе осуществлять права, предусмотренные абзацами вторым — шестым пункта 1 статьи 65 Гражданского кодекса Российской Федерации. Принадлежащие данным лицам голоса не учитываются при определении кворума общего собрания участников (членов, акционеров) и при подсчете голосов;

    5) любые сделки, которые приводят к нарушению требований настоящей части, ничтожны;

    It seems that the bill was specially created against the news aggregator Yandex.News, which is currently the largest news service of the Russian Internet. It is owned by foreigners for more than 85%, write Vedomosti.

    The explanatory note to the bill states: “The owners of news aggregators, like the media and the owners of audiovisual services, perform an important public function: they disseminate publicly available information to a wide audience. These subjects regularly have an informational impact on the population of Russia, therefore, the Russian legislation should make similar demands on them ... The restrictions introduced by the Project are proposed in order to prevent a threat to public order in Russia and thereby create favorable conditions for the development of civil society. ”

    The authors of the draft law consider that “the formation and strengthening of a civil society in democratic states is impossible in the absence of independence of persons disseminating news information, including independence from the policies of foreign states and persons under their control”. Therefore - for the development of civil society - and a ban on foreign participation in the media, and now in the news aggregators.

    The draft provides that the owners of news aggregators, included in the register of news aggregators prior to the entry into force of the proposed law, are obliged to bring their constituent documents into compliance with the requirements no later than six months from the date the law enters into force.

    Sanction for non-fulfillment of requirements - restriction of access to the news aggregator in the territory of the Russian Federation by telecom operators.

    Meanwhile, Yandex shares broke through the bottom : yesterday, the market closed at 1,755 rubles, which is 25% lower than October 18, when information appeared about the purchase of a controlling stake by Sberbank and the transfer of Yandex under state administration.

    Now you will not envy employees of the company (option owners) if there is a moratorium on the sale of shares.

    Recall that earlier Arkady Volozh refused to sellits share in Yandex, and without it, it will be difficult for the state to get a controlling stake. Volozh currently owns Class B shares, representing 48% of the voting share and 10% of the economic share in the company’s capital. The co-founders and first employees of Yandex, including Arkady Volozh, jointly own 57% of the voting share.

    Several sources have previously reported that Sberbank is negotiating the purchase of Yandex shares. According to the source, at least two options of the transaction are being considered:

    • obtaining by the state bank of actual control over the company (with the help of voting shares);
    • purchase at least 20% of the shares.

    In a comment to Vedomosti, the fact of the negotiations was confirmed by a federal official and a person who knows this from another federal official. One of them said that Sberbank is not the only contender for the purchase of Yandex.

    Until now, Sberbank owned only a “golden share”, which gives the right to veto the sale of more than 25% of Yandex shares. Sberbank acquired the "golden share" in 2009 for 1 euro. Since then, the cooperation of partners has developed: first, a joint venture Yandex.Money was launched, then German Gref joined the board of directors of Yandex, and last year the partners launched the online store Beru on Yandex.Market.

    The idea of ​​transferring “Yandex” to the state administration has been repeatedly expressed by officials and security officials. Meetings on this topic were held at the highest level. The reason is a large media activity and the inability to control the system, says a person who knows about this from another official. “There is a process [of taming Yandex”, ”he concluded.

    “For us professionals, it has long been obvious that cyberspace should be under the control of the competent authorities. Without this, it is impossible to guarantee the proper provision of information security and successfully counter modern terrorist threats, ” said recently the deputy head of the FSB of Russia, Sergey Smirnov, without reference to Yandex.

    “If the law is adopted, the board of directors of the company will consider possible options for restructuring the news service, taking into account the requirements of the law,” said Ilya Grabovsky, a spokesman for Yandex, in a comment to RBC.

    Someone may get the impression that “operation Vk 2.0” is underway, and the authorities are “spinning” Yandex company with all available means.

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