“We always believed in competition and the right to choose a user” © Yandex

    Yesterday, Yandex responded to a complaint from Russian companies about unfair competition. Their ironic and mocking response showed their true face: two-faced and unprincipled, hiding behind words about competition and choice. Therefore, I decided to publish this article in order to draw more attention to the issue of monopolistic practices on the Internet and the dispute between Yandex.Verticals and competing services.


    In 2015, Yandex complained to Google, accusing him of abuse of a dominant position in the mobile OS market. Yandex claimed that Google was imposing its own services on users, limiting access to third-party ones.

    Yandex published an official position on Habré . And, judging by the rating and responses, most of the Habrachians supported Yandex in that dispute. Then Yandex won the case, the FAS recognized Google as a violator of the law "On Competition". But 4 years have passed and I want to turn to Yandex with his own words and appeals.

    This appeal is a recognition of one unpleasant fact. We have every chance to get into a country where only one company will decide what services people will use.

    I have always believed and continue to believe in competition, considering it the driving force of progress and development. And I was always sure that Yandex, as the leitmotif of Russian IT, believes the same. What is a company of brilliant engineers producing cool products. But alas, it is now becoming obvious that the technical company, which once considered its slogan “There is everything!”, Has turned into another - a company controlled by investors and “effective managers”, for which profit is higher than the user's choice, and competition is empty sound.

    Yandex no longer looks like just an Internet search engine. And certainly competition of Yandex services on this platform does not look equal.

    imageI'm developing a competing service for finding new buildings , a painful example.

    Still verymany very different examples .

    I want Yandex, which owns more than 56% of the search market in Russia, to compete in search results on equal terms with all conditions.

    Thanks to its talented programmers and technologies, Yandex was able to do the impossible - to confront Google and conquer most of the search market in Russia and part of the CIS. But instead of developing Internet search and scaling, Yandex began expanding to other markets with the help of Verticals. First came the Market, then Real Estate, Jobs, Services, Concerts, Auto, Air, Connoisseurs, Travel, Food, etc.

    The fact that a technology company wants to create more good services, in itself, maybe not bad. The problem is that Yandex imposes its services on the user, making them higher, brighter, bigger in the search results. As a result, the user cannot find anything else. Rather, theoretically, he can do it, but the results of competitors are buried so deep and look so poor that few people get to them. Ultimately, the interests of users who are not given a genuine choice of services suffer.

    Meanwhile, there is a choice. I doubt that Aviasales is worse than Yandex.Avia, CIAN worse than Yandex.Real Estate, Answers @ Mail worse than Yandex.Znatokov, HH worse than Yandex.Works, Kassir worse than Yandex.Afishi, YouDo worse than Yandex. Services, 2GIS worse than Yandex.Maps, etc. d.

    You can argue - why? After all, Yandex has created a search engine. Why can't he promote his services on his search engine? The fact is that many people do not understand that there are any alternatives. For example, more than 60% do not distinguish between contextual advertising and organic delivery. They click on the first or most prominent snippet, not seeing alternatives. Not to mention certain groups of people who believe that Yandex is the Internet.

    Search engines are a unique type of site: people come here to move on. Unlike all other sites, where they go for specific information. Therefore, for most Internet companies, search engines are a key source of users. If you are not found in Google and Yandex, then consider you do not exist.
    And until recently, the rules were the same for everyone. If you want to be taller, make a good website or pay for an ad unit. But when the search engine puts priority links on itself, it violates the order of things.

    So it turns out that if you want to create a service that a large number of people can use, you must be present in Yandex, but you cannot do this on equal terms. In fact, you are forced to create your own search engine. Which is a little utopian and, hopefully, needs no explanation.

    It’s okay to say that people become more experienced PC users and will gradually switch to Google, and there you can compete on equal terms. Yes, but, firstly, Google’s audience is significantly smaller. Secondly, against the backdrop of threats about blocking Google, the debate about Android or the “independent Internet”, the future is more likely to be seen where Yandex will finally turn into Baida (Chinese monopoly search engine).

    It somehow happened that everyone whose life and work is connected with technology believes that this is a good competitive world where technology companies fight for users in normal ways. ( Yandex )

    In 2017, Google paid 2.4 billion euros for putting its own resources in a privileged position, ignoring other sites providing similar services. And without giving the latter comparable opportunities. The search engine preferred the Google Shopping service (similar to Yandex.Market) when searching for products, making it brighter and higher than competitors. In fact, the European court has banned what Yandex is doing now.

    And I was sure that European examples and the words broadcast by Yandex about fair competition would keep equal opportunities on the Russian Internet. But it turns out you can complain about Google, and in parallel push Russian Internet companies.

    At that rate, Yandex will soon have nothing but Yandex, and not because it is beneficial to the user, but because Yandex is advantageous to use the dominant position in the market to crowd out competitors. A ban on this is the basis of antitrust law. Without competition, no one’s products will develop. And I'm sure that Yandex technical specialists understand this and realize the incorrectness of what is happening. Therefore, I believe that everything can end well!

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