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It’s deja vu as Uber forms a joint venture in Russia, much like it did in China

Uber has found a local partner in yet another country, as the transportation giant enters a joint venture with Russia’s largest technology company. Last week, Yandex NV joined forces with Uber in Russia, after receiving approval from the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). The deal harks back to an earlier agreement in China, where Uber partnered with one-time competitor Didi Chuxing.

As part of the new agreement with Yandex, Uber will invest $225 million into what is called the “Google of Russia,” while Yandex will claim a 59.3-percent share in a jointly held company by way of a $100 million investment.

“The results of analysis of the market for the organization of information interaction between taxi drivers and passengers showed that the market is in the stage of active growth,” the FAS noted in a statement. “In this case, there will be aggregators providing services through a new convenient way to order a taxi — in the mobile device application.”

This merger will allow Uber and Yandex to work alongside one another in 127 cities across Russia. Customers will be able to hail rides from both Yandex.Taxi and Uber, and the joint venture is slated to begin its operations in January 2018.

“Currently, there is a tendency in the market to consolidate existing players and strengthen their role in the market,” Anatoly Golomolzin, the deputy head of the FAS, said in the statement. “At the same time, we understand that it’s 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.”

Uber has faced quite a number of problems in attempting to expand in international markets, as it attempts to compete with an increasing number of home-grown companies. For example, Go-Jek and Grab in southeast Asia have given Uber a run for its money, and as the company attempts to establish a firmer footprint overseas, it seems as though these sorts of deals may be its best bet.

Of course, Uber has plenty of other issues to worry about, both at home and abroad. The company’s far-reaching data breach has called into question the app’s security, and Uber’s future in London remains an open question.


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