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Federal Antitrust Service proposed new reasons for blocking of web-sites in Russia

Russian Federal Antitrust Service (FAS) currently is working on amendments to Russian antitrust law in order to improve competition in online environment. The new set of amendments aims to restrict access to online resource if the last violate Russian antitrust law.

The proposed amendments concern the communication operators and internet companies. According to legislative proposal the access to their web-sites should be restricted if they violate Russian antitrust law and fail to comply with FAS’s directives. FAS proposes to include these amendments to Russian administrative code. Operators of informational systems and persons who organize dissemination of information are subject of proposed amendments.

The wording of definition for operators of informational system is so broad that can include communication operators (like ISP) and owners of web-sites. Social networks, messengers and services of electronic mail can also fall under the amendments. The FAS proposes to restrict access to violator of law up to 90 days. But the decision to restrict access can adopt only the court. The restriction of access can be the only penalty as well as additional penalty, but it can be imposed only “if the lenient administrative penalty would not help to achieve the goal”.

After the court’s decision enters into force the Roskomnadzor ought to require the internet service providers (ISP) to restrict access to violators of law. Actually these amendments are the “sequel” of so called FAS’s fifth set of antitrust law. This October the ministry of economic development has negatively assessed the “fifth set” of antitrust regulations. Stakeholders hope the proposed amendment on restriction of access stay in form of project and would not receive the power of law.