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MPs aim to ban foreigners from owning digital service provider companies

19.09.2019, 19:08

On September 19, the Verkhovna Rada approved in principle the bill, which proposed that only nationals of Ukraine could be the ultimate beneficial owners of providers of multi-channel digital terrestrial broadcasting programs.

Bill No. 2035 on amendments to the laws on ownership transparency of providers offering services of multi-channel digital terrestrial television networks with national coverage was supported in the first reading by 290 MPs, as Interfax-Ukraine reported.

The explanatory note to the document said that the draft law provided a number of requirements for founders, participants, owners of providers, the implementation of which will ensure transparency of ownership structure and prevent potential unlawful influence of the aggressor state on the broadcasting space of Ukraine.

At the same time, the draft law concerns, first and foremost, the only provider of nationwide coverage in Ukraine, which is Zeonbud LLC.

In particular, the authors of the bill proposed to prohibit to found and to take part in program service providers to government authorities, local self-government bodies and their legal entities in the absence of their respective powers.

A similar prohibition is proposed to be extended to natural persons and legal entities resident in a country recognized as the aggressor state or the occupying state by the Verkhovna Rada, as well as to legal entities whose participants (shareholders) and / or final beneficiaries they are.

In addition, legal entities and natural persons-entrepreneurs registered in offshore zones, the list of which is approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, as well as stateless persons are prohibited from participating in such companies at all levels of ownership of corporate rights.

Failure to comply with these requirements is grounds for denying the issuance and renewal of the license of the software service provider. If non-compliance with these requirements is found by the National Council during the validity of the license, it may be annulled in court.

In addition, it is envisaged to establish similar requirements for telecommunications operators whose activity is to provide services of technical maintenance and operation of multi-channel digital broadcasting networks with nationwide coverage.

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