Russia Web Firm Negotiates Autonomy

By 22.04.09 No Comments

Yandex is in discussions to give a state company veto power over changes in its ownership while ensuring independence in other areas, amid growing Kremlin calls for more control over major local Internet companies, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The paper adds that in recent weeks, President Dmitry Medvedev and other Russian officials have highlighted what they call the «strategic» nature of major Russian Internet companies, warning that foreign control over them could be a security concern.

But Russian laws limiting foreign investment don’t cover the sector, leaving it in a murky middle ground where rules aren’t clear and sensitive deals can be blocked on technicalities, industry officials say. Official interest in the Internet — which is now used by an estimated 50 million Russians — has stepped up since Medvedev became president a year ago, the media notes.