With Yandex, the situation is the same as with Google in its relationship with the antitrust authority in the United States. What is the point here? Imagine that a user is looking for an online store, typing a query into the search bar, and clicking the search button. In the search results, the first place will be, for example, Yandex.Market, i.e. the service that is directly related to Yandex. Even if it is not in first place, but in third, the result about Yandex.Market will stand out much brighter than other online stores in the first places. Thus, Yandex ranks its services above the rest.
How does Yandex understand this situation? He created a search engine and a vast ecosystem of services. Thus, the company created a whole market and became a monopolist in it. In this story, the FAS sees precisely a monopoly position in the new market, which does not allow other services to conduct healthy competition. Whatever ideal service and level of promotion its owner offers, he will always be in a losing position with respect to Yandex services.
The FAS claims are positive for business development in the market. For Yandex, the situation is very inconvenient: the company needs not only to remove services from the leading positions, but also to invest in the modernization of algorithms and rules for search results. There are no advantages for Yandex in this situation yet. Therefore, Yandex has no choice but to declare that the search quality for users will deteriorate and Yandex services are better than others. These statements are clearly not enough, and an external referee is required, in the role of which was the FAS.
From the point of view of the development of competition, it is completely incomprehensible why Yandex decides for the user, for example, what exactly Yandex.Taxi is better than other services and sites for ordering a taxi. At the same time, another taxi service may be more relevant to the user.
Similar claims can be made to any other system. For example, from the moment Sberbank moved away from a purely banking history to digital and became an ecosystem of services, it acquired a monopoly position within its service system. The delicate question is that, given that there are millions of users who are looking for various services in the Sberbank system, why in the search results for the query “Mobile communications” we see only SberMobile without competitors.
It can be assumed that the losses incurred by Yandex from innovations will be offset by the mandatory pre-installation of its applications on devices. How all this will turn out for Yandex can be seen by the popularity of Yandex services in a competitive environment for several years. It is possible that the priority of search results may be competitors’ services that are really worse than Yandex services. In this case, the search engine itself among users can get a label “junk”, which does not produce a relevant result.
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