December 16, 2019 / 10:13 PM / a month ago

Russia's Rambler drops effort for criminal case against Nginx web server

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s Rambler media group said on Monday it will stop trying to have a criminal case brought against web server Nginx, which was developed by former Rambler employees.

Last week, Nginx’s offices in Moscow were searched following a complaint by Lynwood Investments, a company acting on behalf of Rambler.

Rambler said that it owned the rights to Nginx, as the service was developed by two employees of the firm at the time: Igor Sysoev and Maxim Konovalov.

Sysoev has previously been cited in Russian media reports as saying that his development of Nginx was never part of his responsibilities as a Rambler employee.

Russian state lender Sberbank, which owns 46.5% of Rambler, criticized Rambler for its pursuit of Nginx and called an extraordinary meeting of Rambler’s board of directors on Monday.

The board said in a statement after the meeting that it had asked Rambler’s management team to request Russian law enforcement agencies cease pursuit of the criminal case, and begin talks with Nginx and with F5, a U.S. firm that bought Nginx in March for $670 million.

“We will do our utmost to ensure that this situation is resolved through negotiations, with the involvements of all parties,” the statement quoted Rambler board chairman and Sberbank first deputy chief executive Lev Khasis as saying.

The Nginx matter follows a case against U.S. investor Michael Calvey and his private equity group Baring Vostok. Calvey and some other group’s executives were detained in February on embezzlement charges.

They deny wrongdoing and say the charges against them are being used to pressure them in a business dispute over control of mid-sized bank Vostochny.

Reporting by Nadezhda Tsydenova; Additional reporting by Tatiana Voronova; Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Katya Golubkova and Grant McCool

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