Yandex Settles Antitrust Lawsuit With Russian Classified Sites
The Yandex Group signed an agreement with the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia (FAS) — a federal-level executive governmental organization that controls the execution of the antitrust laws — and a consortium of Russian Internet companies, in connection with an antitrust lawsuit settlement against the search engine.
The consortium includes Russian companies such as Avito, Cian, Profi, and others.
The claim alleges that Yandex abused its dominant market position in the placement of search results. As a result, Yandex’s services, including classifieds Avto.ru, Yandex.Realty and Yandex.Vacancies, got higher search positions than other websites.
In February, the company reported that revenue for Yandex.Classifieds rose 27% on a quarterly basis and 41% for the year, while adjusted Earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (EBITDA) fell 19% on a quarterly basis and rose 93% yearly.
The company, in a letter to shareholders, pointed to Yandex Rent as an area for growth, with an expectation to provide competition to a similar product being offered by companies such as Cian.
Yandex Rent helps to manage pre-contract rental processes and subsequent administration of payments.
“The settlement agreement confirms that Yandex has complied with all the requirements of the warning,” per the report, and set ongoing standards for the company to follow.
Some of those include integrating the information provided by market participants in search results with published relevant technical terms. The terms and conditions are the same for all market participants, including Yandex’s services.
Yandex also agreed to an annual independent audit to ensure that search rankings and data displayed in search results are unbiased.
The company also agreed to provide the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia with information to ensure regular control over compliance with these requirements in the operation of its search engine.
Yandex and the Russian Fund for the Development of Information Technologies will create a joint program to support Russian technology companies in promoting their products and services. Yandex will support this Fund and contribute $22.4 million (RUB 1.5 billion).