The leading Russian search engine Yandex agreed to acquire SMIlink, the leading Russian road traffic information service operating in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The deal, whose value is not disclosed, is expected to close in the beginning of July 2008. According to business daily Vedomosti, the deal is valued at several million dollars.
SMIlink, which has 70 staff, was started by paging operator VessoLink in 2001. The company collects traffic information from different sources including its own fleet, police, via phone lines, etc; analyzes information in real time and distributes via various media (its own software, radio, Internet, and TV).
Yandex recently did outdoor advertising of its new user-generated traffic congestion monitoring service Traffic 2.0. Its road traffic information services Yandex.Traffic-Moscow was visited by 2 million people in May 2008.