The Phenomena of ‘Media Holding’ and ‘Media Group’ in Russia: the Problem of Uncertainty of the Legal Status

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Sergey S. Smirnov

PhD in Philology, Associate Professor at the Chair of Media Theory and Economics, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia


Section: Media Law

This paper presents the results of a study into the legal framework for the operation of media holdings and media groups in modern Russia. To begin with, the author offered a theoretical distinction between these two terms, after which he analyzed the organizational set-ups of several large business associations within the media industry and carefully studied all the statutory documents related to their activities. The information on legal entities was taken from the official base of the Federal Service of State Statistics (Rosstat), while the latest versions of the texts of laws, provisions and classifiers - from the legal reference system Consultant Plus. As a consequence, it was found that the concepts of ‘media holding’ and ‘media group’ in Russia are null and void. They are not mentioned in any sectoral law, which means that the phenomena that actually exist have not been normatively interpreted so far. Notably, Russian general legislation fails to introduce even the basic concept of ‘holding’, a drawback which appears to be systemic. This fact hampers the identification of holding associations in the Russian economy in general and in the Russian media market in particular and leads to uncertainty of their legal status. The author believes that the ‘legal vacuum’ existing in this area prevents the adequate development of the whole complex of legislative regulation of the national media industry.

Keywords: media holding, media group, term, definition, legislation, regulation, norm
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.6.2020.2340


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