Restriction of foreign companies in market research

The State Duma passed in the first reading a bill[1] limiting the share of foreigners in companies that analyse the consumer market. The amendments will serve to regulate the work of research companies that analyse consumer markets.

Data on the structure of the commodity market means information on the level of supply and demand on the commodity market in the Russian Federation and on the conditions of circulation of certain goods on the relevant commodity market, including information on the cost of goods, the volume of production, import (export) and sales of goods, generalized data on consumers, producers and importers of goods, the conditions of sale of goods and the principles of determining their price, other information necessary for the promotion of certain goods on the market.

However, the research on the structure of the consumer market does not include research:
  • conducted in the interests of state and local government bodies and organizations under their jurisdiction;
  • conducted with the use of information contained in state information systems;
  • conducted in the organizations' own interests;
  • of a scientific, educational or journalistic nature;
  • intended for the general public without charging a fee for access to their results.

Research companies must not allow the implementation of decisions by "unfriendly" states on the imposition of restrictive measures against the Russian Federation and must not publish knowingly unreliable data.

According to the bill, companies with revenue for the last calendar year of at least 30 million rubles and with at least 80% of the authorized capital owned by Russians and Russian legal entities will be able to conduct research on the Russian commodity market. In cases where the share of ownership in the authorized capital of a company is more than 20% and belongs to a foreign person, the ownership, management and control of this organization will require approval of the Government Commission.

The research company must comply with Russian law, including the processing and storage of collected data on the territory of the Russian Federation. In addition, a register to be maintained by FAS must be implemented. It is also planned to introduce a specialized register under the supervision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, where research companies will have to send their applications for inclusion of information about themselves.

Such a measure will prevent foreign governments from obtaining information that could later be used against the Russian Federation.

[1] Bill No. 412669-8 Concerning the Introduction of Amendments to Chapter 4 of the Federal Law "On the Principles of State Regulation of Trade Activities in the Russian Federation" (Concerning Studies of the Structure of the Consumption Market).