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Astana, Kazakhstan • 15 December 2023

Yandex Taxi to Limit Bad-Weather Fare Hikes After Antitrust Investigation

The antimonopoly authorities have concluded an investigation against the taxi-hailing company

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Ruslan Pryanikov
Ruslan Pryanikov

The Agency for Protection and Development of Competition has concluded an antitrust investigation against the international taxi services company Yandex Taxi, QazMonitor reports citing the agency’s press service.

The company faced administrative responsibility for coordinating economic activities related to taxi hailing, which was evident in the imposition of technical support services for cash register machine software. Additionally, Yandex Taxi was held administratively responsible for failing to provide information to the antimonopoly authority. As a resolution, the company voluntarily contributed ₸3 billion to the state fund supporting Kazakhstan's digital ecosystem.

In addition, the agency has approved antitrust compliance measures for Yandex Taxi, encompassing the following set of actions:

  • One condition for elevating drivers’ income involves the cessation of Yandex commission collection from December 14 of this year, if the order exceeds twice the base cost of the trip. The agency anticipates an economic impact of approximately ₸2 billion per year.

  • Implementation of an additional bonus program for drivers. Authorities project ₸7–10 billion in 2024, contingent on the growth of industry turnover and inflation.

  • Enhancement of the user application to augment fare transparency, providing justifications for fare increases and forecasts of changes.

  • Introduction of an updated Carpool fare tariff for passengers, allowing them to order a cab at a lower cost even during peak demand, with restrictions on fare increases up to two times.

  • The aggregator will implement restrictions on threefold fare increases during peak demand, such as in bad weather or during holidays. The agency claims that no more than 5% of trips will exceed this level.

  • For passengers with children, the company will introduce a Kids fare tariff, enabling customers to request a taxi with a child seat or booster.

Yandex Taxi will establish a call center to facilitate effective communication with taxi drivers and maintain a connection with customers.

Additionally, the following measures have been implemented to balance the interests of passengers and drivers:

  • The agency has initiated amendments to legislation that will enable drivers to work directly with Yandex without relying on taxi depots. According to the agency, taxi depots charge a commission ranging from 4-8%.

  • An independent company will conduct an audit of algorithmic pricing in collaboration with the agency and the Digital and Space Ministry to scrutinize Yandex's software, as well as factors influencing pricing (such as weather conditions, holidays, increased demand, lack of drivers, etc.).

Yandex's adherence to antitrust compliance obligations will be monitored by a special group under the agency.

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