Russian Watchdog Opens Case Against Yandex for Discriminating Third-Party Services

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia’s competition watchdog FAS has opened an investigation into the country’s largest search engine, Yandex, over alleged discrimination of third-party services on its platform, following the global trend in seeking to tame the monopoly of tech giants.

In February, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) issued an alert for Yandex over discriminatory policies of the engine service. The Russian tech giant was given a month to provide third-party services with access to the same opportunities that its own services enjoy. The most-used Russian search engine thus repeats the fate of US tech giant Google, which has faced multiple antitrust cases at home and in Europe.

“FAS has opened a case against Yandex. The company has failed to comply with the antimonopoly authority’s warning and continues to create discriminatory conditions in the Internet search market. FAS is investigating possible anti-competition practices meant to promote Yandex Group services in search results and will also assess the consequences such practices have led to (could lead to),” the watchdog said.

If antitrust violations are confirmed, the company risks a fine of 0.01 percent to 0.15 percent of its revenue in Russia.

According to Yandex, its share in the Russian search market, including search on mobile devices, totalled 59.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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