Russia's antimonopoly watchdog warns Uber-Yandex.Taxi merger

Posted July 14, 2017

Uber, the developers, marketers, and operators of the vehicle transportation and food delivery service, has announced that it will be forming a partnership with Yandex, who runs the largest search engine in Russian Federation and operates a similar auto transportation service, Yandex Taxi.

Of course this success would not have been possible without our awesome team in the region and I am pleased to say that as part of today's agreement all full time Uber employees in the countries involved will be part of the new company. Employees will own the rest.

Yandex and Uber annual rides and bookings    
   Yandex  Uber
Yandex and Uber annual rides and bookings Yandex Uber

Yandex, which is investing $100 million into the joint venture, will control 59.3 percent of the company.

Tigran Khudaverdyan, who heads Yandex.Taxi and will be boss of the new company, said the combination will boost rides for drivers and reduce wait times for passengers.

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In a blog post addressed to Uber employees, the head of Uber in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, said, "This is an exciting opportunity in a unique situation and our operations in other countries will not be affected". Over the last three years we have invested around $170 million to build and expand our business to 21 cities in these countries. It will value its stake at nearly $1.4 billion.

More than 35 million rides were performed in June between the two operations, collecting more than $130m in gross bookings. Yandex's service, Yandex.Taxi, also operates in Armenia and Georgia. In a press release, Yandex.Taxi's chief executive, Khudaverdyan, said the companies would work together on "building a ride-sharing service that offers a viable alternative to automobile ownership or public transportation". Uber EATS, Uber's food deliver service, will also be joining with Yandex under the combined business.

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The implied valuation for Yandex.Taxi of about $2 billion in the deal with Uber is "substantially" higher than the levels expected by the market, BCS Global Markets said in note to clients Thursday.

Given changes in the business at home - namely CEO Travis Kalanick resigning amid a host of scandals involving sexual harassment and other bad management practices - the company appears to be having a wider thinking of its overall strategy. Didi took over the whole business including the platform and rider and driver base. Once that happens, they plan to integrate their driver apps.

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