Uber takes back seat in Russia as merger approved

Key Points
  • The two technology companies announced an agreement in July to combine their ride-hailing services
  • The deal has now received approval from Russia's anti-monopoly service
  • Yandex will own a majority stake in the new joint firm.
Uber and Yandex Taxi apps on a smartphone.
Donat Sorokin | TASS | Getty Images

A planned merger between Uber and Yandex.Taxi has been approved by Russia's anti-monopoly agency.

The new company will be majority owned by Yandex.Taxi, which is a subsidiary of the country's preferred search engine, Yandex.

Anatoly Golomolzin, deputy head of the anti-monopoly service of the Russian Federation, said in a statement Friday that the deal was approved on the basis that Yandex didn't prevent drivers or passengers from using other services.

"We understand that it is important to ensure the development of competition in such markets even at the very first stage, so that all market participants are on an equal footing," said Golomolzin.

Uber to join with Russia's Yandex to form new ride-hailing company
Uber to join with Russia's Yandex to form new ride-hailing company

Uber is to invest $225 million into the new venture and will own 36.6 percent of the company. In turn, Yandex will invest $100 million and take 59.3 percent ownership. The remainder is to be shared by employees of the company.

Yandex said in its own press release Friday that the new firm would be valued at around $3.725 billion.

The tie-up is set to be completed by January 2018. The company will operate in Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, and Georgia.

Four members from Yandex will be on the board, with three seats for Uber.