The Russian government has approved the merger of Uber and Yandex, the country’s largest technology company and most popular search engine. As a part of the deal, the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company will invest $225 million into the “Google of Russia,” while Yandex will take 59.3 % ownership of a jointly-held company through a $100 million investment, reports Reuters.
The merger marks Uber’s expansion into Russia and was approved by the country’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), so long as the company didn’t bar its drivers from working for competing services, the report says.
“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,” said a FAS statement. “In this case, there will be aggregators providing services through a new convenient way to order a taxi—in the mobile device application.”
Originally announced in July, the merger of ride-sharing businesses means collaborating in 127 cities. Under the new, jointly held company, UberEATS was also planned to roll out in the six-country region that Yandex and Uber would be work in together: Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, and Kazakhstan. Under the agreement, users could use both Yndex.Taxi and Uber apps to get a ride in the countries.
The combined company should begin operations in January 2018.