The acquisition of contextual advertising firm Begun by Google was expected to be completed in September 2008. According to business daily newspaper Vedomosti, the consideration of the deal by the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) has been postponed until October 22. The newspaper found out that FAS requested some additional documents from the sellers to better study the market conditions.
Rambler Media, which agreed to sell its 50.1% majority stake in Begun to Google in July 2008, was expected to include the Google search box into its new homepage on Rambler.ru this month. Google intended to increase its Russian search engine market share to over 30% as well as contextual advertising share because of the acquisition of Begun and search & advertising deal with Rambler.
The delay could be in favor of the leading Russian search engine Yandex, which held 64% share of the online contextual advertising market in Russia, vs. Begun‘s 20% share and Google‘s 5% share in 2007.
In addition, Google‘s global competitors are making headways into the Russian market. Microsoft updated its Live search engine in Russia and launched the Russian language morphology last week. Yahoo! was recently looking for top executives and sales managers to launch the Russian operations.