On November 24, 2017, the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation (FAS) approved the petition to establish a joint venture by Yandex N.V., and Uber International S.V.. Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev and Partners acted as the main legal adviser when seeking approval of the transaction from the FAS.
"When considering the petition, the FAS took into account the market’s peculiarities – including the information on the interaction between the passengers and the taxi drivers (i.e. taxi aggregators). It was concluded that a high level of competition is ensured by low entry barriers and an elastic demand for aggregator services by both passengers and drivers. This is a clear example of a digital market transaction where one needs to evaluate network effects, and the first transaction in the market of taxi aggregators that has been approved by the FAS ", says Natalia Korosteleva, a partner and antimonopoly practice head at Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev & Partners.
"When preparing the petition, we focused on the interchangeability of the various ways of ordering a taxi, as well as the current trends in the development of the market and the significance of the innovative component. I believe that today taxi competition is essentially with public transport", said Evgeny Bolshakov, antimonopoly practice counsel at Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev & Partners.
Within the framework of the evaluation of the petition, the FAS has thoroughly studied these issues and considered that the relevant market is competitive and characterized by active growth. Taking into account the emerging trend for consolidation of key market participants, FAS took measures to ensure competition in the market and to protect the interests of passengers and drivers. The companies are required to provide the users with complete and accessible information about the legal entity that carries out the transportation, including the history of trips. They are further prohibited from imposing bans on drivers and passengers to work with other taxi aggregators.
Yandex N.V.’s interests were represented by the following Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners team: Natalia Korosteleva - partner, Evgeny Bolshakov - counsel, Elena Kazak – senior associate, and Oksana Akhmedova - associate.