Georgian Taxi Firms Receiving 70% Fewer Calls as Yandex Taxi Enters Georgian Market

Taxi companies have asked the Competition Agency to carefully watch the activities of Russian taxi company Yandex, a new entrant onto the Georgian taxi market.

Georgian taxi companies told news agency Commersant that due to Yandex entering the market with dumping prices, the customer calls to other players have decreased by 70 percent.

The founder of taxi company 200-200, Nika Khoperia, told Radio Commersant that the Competition Agency requires Yandex to set rates relevant to the market value and be involved in ‘fair competition’.

“Yandex has the good financial capability to begin, at the initial stage, paying drivers from its ‘own pocket.’ As a result, lower prices of course lead customers to choose them over other companies and forcing us, after their entrance onto the market, to cut the salaries of several employees,” Khoperia claimed.

Khoperia also noted that there is a threat that Yandex may wish to acquire the whole market at which point it can increase the fares considerably.

The head of the Taxi Drivers' Union, Nana Pilauri, says that the real name of the taxi company ‘Yandex’ is unknown as there is no information available about it in the business registry. Pilauri also claims that the company is not paying taxes.

Pilauri says that they have appealed to the Competition Agency and observations are already underway. She, like Khoperia, claims that Yandex Taxi’s goal is to attain monopoly in the market, after which, she says, it will set its own rules.

Natia Liparteliani

12 December 2016 18:05