Yandex sells news, content recommendation services to Russia’s VK

(Reuters) – Tech giant Yandex said on Thursday it was selling its news aggregator platform Yandex News and content recommendation service Yandex Zen to its Russian rival VK.

Yandex, one of Europe’s largest internet businesses, registered in the Netherlands, and Russian internet portal VK said they had come to an agreement in principle on the deal, and that they would announce details in due course.

The deal is subject to approval by Russia’s anti-monopoly watchdog, Yandex said.

Moscow-listed shares in Yandex gained 1% following the announcement, outperforming the broader market. Depository receipts in VK slumped 2% on the Moscow Exchange, pressured by an increased first-quarter net loss that the company reported on Thursday.

Yandex, Russia’s top search engine, reported a first-quarter loss earlier this week and acknowledged problems started appearing after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The company, whose Nasdaq-listed shares were suspended in February, warned last month it did not have enough funds to service some of its debt. Last week, it said it had withdrawn its 2022 financial forecasts and was scaling back planned investments.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Mark Potter)

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