The Association of Enterprises and Professionals of the Beauty Industry (APIK) suspected Yandex of unfair competition, which it reported in a letter addressed to the head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service Maxim Shaskolsky.
The organization believes that Yandex is unreasonably using “special widgets” (commonly translated from Russian to English as Wizards, Sorcerers or Witches) or “interactive enriched responses” to promote its Yandex.Services.
For example, when you search for [barbershop spb], Yandex.Services appear in the search – with a map, and a list of businesses registered on it, with prices. Services unrelated to the company do not have such an opportunity or do not correspond to “the technical, visual and other capabilities and benefits of interactive search engine responses,” the complaint letter said.
25 regional subdivisions of the association signed the appeal of APIC. Market participants ask the FAS to oblige Yandex to make search results “according to uniform ranking rules” and demand to publish the conditions for access to technical, visual, and other promotion opportunities, including with the help of “sorcerers”.
Yandex said it did not agree with the accusations. The company explained that “enriched responses” are shown if they best respond to a search query and allow them to quickly get information, buy or order something. At the same time, enriched answers do not have many advantages over other formats in search results.
In total on the search now you can find 14 types of enriched answers. For example, more than 160 thousand beauty companies have already created their own enriched response card for our Service Directory, and thus attract customers for free, ”the company said.
Every week Yandex shows about 3 million cards of such organizations. In addition, a beauty salon can register with Yandex.Services and be shown inside the enriched Services response when a user searches for a beauty salon.
FAS obliged Yandex to provide third-party services with access to the “sorcerers” and gave a month to execute the order. However, Yandex expressed its disagreement with the decision of the antimonopoly service and did not make any changes in the issue.