Kassir.ru did not make peace with Yandex
The high-profile antitrust case about “sorcerers” (enriched answers in the search results) of “Yandex” may flare up with renewed vigor.
The ticket operator Kassir.ru decided to challenge in court the settlement agreement concluded in January between the search engine and a coalition of Internet companies that filed a complaint against it with the FAS. Kassir.ru, which was the first to apply to the service, believes that the agreement does not take into account its interests and may generally violate the law. Lawyers believe that the company has a chance to challenge the settlement agreement, since it must take into account the rights of all third parties.
Kassir.ru LLC decided to challenge the conclusion of a settlement agreement in the antimonopoly case about “sorcerers”, follows from the company’s cassation complaint (Kommersant has it), sent to the Moscow Arbitration Court on January 26. A note on the receipt of a complaint is in the filing cabinet of arbitration cases.
It follows from the complaint that Kassir.ru National Ticket Operator LLC does not agree with the court ruling issued on January 19, 2022, considers it illegal and subject to cancellation on the grounds “which will be formulated after familiarization with the final court ruling”.
The main beneficiary of Kassir.ru, Yevgeny Finkelstein (85%), explained to Kommersant that the interests of the company were not taken into account in the agreement: “We are doing everything possible to make our position heard in Yandex and find the strength to recognize the fairness of the requirements.”
The antimonopoly case against Yandex was initiated in mid-April 2021 following a complaint from ivi, Avito, CIAN, Profi.ru, Tutu.ru and other companies. But Kassir.ru was the first to apply to the FAS in June 2019 (see Kommersant dated June 28, 2019). The companies believed that Yandex was abusing its dominant position in search results through enriched responses (the so-called “wizards”). The FAS has recognized that “sorcerers” create discriminatory conditions in the Internet search market.
The service issued a warning, according to which Yandex had to give equal conditions for the demonstration of services on the pages of the search engine, including for competitors. The FAS demanded that the condition be fulfilled within a month, the search engine disputed this.
The consideration of the case was repeatedly postponed, and on January 19, the service reported that Yandex and a coalition of companies had entered into an amicable agreement under which all market participants would receive equal access to “sorcerers”, and the search engine would contribute 1.5 billion rubles. to the Russian Foundation for the Development of Information Technologies (RFRIT).
A Kommersant source close to Kassir.ru believes that this is contrary to the law: “You can’t just give 1.5 billion rubles. to RFRIT and promise to stop discriminatory extradition.”
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners (EPAM), which represented the coalition, insists that the interests of the market are fully taken into account. “Protection of the private interests of Kassir.ru is not within the competence of the FAS, and the agreement settled all issues of a general market nature,” says Natalya Korosteleva, head of the EPAM antimonopoly practice. Yandex, Avito, ivi, 2GIS, Tutu.ru and CIAN did not respond to Kommersant’s request.
Kassir.ru probably believes that the measures proposed by Yandex under the agreement do not fully restore the company’s rights, or will be completed only after a long time, says Lyudmila Lukyanova, a lawyer at Forward Legal. In her opinion, the cassation appeal will be supplemented after the publication of the judicial act approving the agreement in full.