The Russia-based union of industrialists and businessmen (RSPP) has spoken out against the government’s proposed creation of a single classified operator in Russia, a de facto nationalization of the industry. This opposition is notable as the union is essentially an alliance of the country’s oligarchs, which control some of the country’s largest businesses.

Following a union meeting on Thursday, the following statement was released to the media: “The adoption of the draft law will lead to a sharp decrease in competition, a drop in the pace of technology development, and the degradation of the level of service in these types of activities. Citizens who are accustomed to free choice when placing electronic ads will be deprived of this opportunity. Monopolization will inevitably lead to an increase in the cost of relevant services for advertisers.”

Given the influential force of this alliance, the opposition may be a tide-turning event. It is unlikely the alliance would have spoken publicly without first finding sufficient support within the ranks of the government.

The second reading of the proposed law will occur on August 13. This offers an opportunity to change its contents.

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