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Begun – Russian contextual ad system – falls to Google for $140m

A fascinating acquisition has taken place in Russia where Google, which has not traditionally performed well in the Russian search engine market, has paid one of its competitors $50 million for their share of the Begun contextual advertising system. The total acquisition value of Begun was $140 million – but a signficant slice of that will be paid to Rambler’s partner in Begun – Bannatyne Ltd.

Meanwhile, Rambler, the original control owner of Begun, continues to compete with Google as a search engine which is now richer than it was before with having, according to its own press release, a net cash position of $100 million to pursue “further investments and acquisitions in line with Rambler’s stated strategy.” Begun is known to have typically paid lower prices to publishers and cost less for advertisers – no doubt the Google involvement will change that in some way.

The English press release is available here.

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Andy Atkins-Kruger

CEO at Webcertain
Andy is the CEO of Webcertain. He is a trained linguist with 20 years of experience in international marketing, having helped major brand leaders with their advertising and public relations projects on five continents. Webcertain has been operating multilingual search marketing campaigns for over 15 years and is one of few agencies which only deal with international campaigns; the company doesn't deal in single market projects. Andy speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

4 Responses to Begun – Russian contextual ad system – falls to Google for $140m

  1. Dan says:

    http://www.Яша.com is a new player in the Russian search engine game

  2. lapvlish says:

    YOu maybe right, but you forgot how much money Russia is going to spend to let the rest of people to use the computer. So far it is accesible to big cities only, but very soon it’ll be in the small towns and villages. This is the real Russia.

  3. Ivan Shutovich says:

    There is no doubt other ex-Soviet Union republics and their search engines are next. While the population of those countries generally speak Russian and could use Rambler, many turn to the local companies such as tut.by in Belarus.

  4. Itman says:

    It is crucial to mention another agreement with Google, that will enhance Rambler search results with the result from Google. Also, Adsense will be shown in parallel on SERPs. Many people tend to think that eventually Rambler will drop its own search engine. PR-manager of Yandex issued a frighted-to-death concern notice in their blog, where they are saying that Rambler is dropping its own search in the nearest future.

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