Government to Consult Russian IT Companies over Law Limiting Foreign Ownership

A draft law on limiting foreign ownership in major Russian IT companies will be reworked to include the opinions of market players including Yandex, the lawmaker who drew up the proposal, Anton Gorelkin, told RBC on Tuesday.

On Monday, Yandex’s New-York-listed shares were boosted by a statement from Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov, who called the draft law “destructive.”

“Deputy Prime Minister Akimov said the bill should be reworked, but no one says that my bill in its current form is the ultimate truth,” Interfax cited Gorelkin as saying.

The document’s current draft, published last week, proposes limiting foreign ownership in “significant” Russian IT companies to 20% and banning any non-compliant companies from advertising themselves or others inside Russia.

The proposal will be discussed with market participants, including Yandex, Gorelkin said.

Yandex, called “Russian Google” by western media, is the nation’s largest Internet company by value, offering a wide range of services including search, e-mail, text, and trading. Another company affected by the new law is, which controls the nation’s two largest social media platforms, Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki.

Yandex is registered in The Netherlands, and about 85 percent of its shares trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York. Founder Arkady Volozh has a foreign passport, Russia media said. The company’s s Moscow-listed shares were up 4.3% at 1135 GMT on Tuesday.