Russian Investigators Raid Moscow Subsidiary Of U.S. Tech Company

Russian police have raided the Moscow-based subsidiary of an American technology company amid a fight between one of Russia’s largest online portals and a former worker.

Investigators searched the offices of Ngnix, one of the world’s most popular web servers, and the homes of its founders on December 12 following a criminal complaint filed by Rambler Group, which is majority-owned by Russian billionaire Aleksandr Mamut and state-owned lender Sberbank.

Nginx was co-founded by Igor Sysoyev and Maksim Konovalov, who both previously worked for Rambler. The two sold the company to U.S.-based F5 Networks earlier this year for $670 million.

Rambler is now claiming ownership of Nginx’s web server code because Sysoyev began to develop it while working for Rambler in the early 2000s.

“Therefore, any use of the program without the permission of Rambler Group is a violation of exclusive rights,” the company said in a statement.

Konovalov called the Rambler claim “dumb and outright racketeering.”

Based on reporting by Vedomosti, Meduza, and RFE/RL’s Russian Service
Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.





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