mail.ru

Russian internet group Mail.ru has paid $1.47bn to acquire the 48 per cent of social media website VKontakte that it does not already own, ending a battle for ownership of Russia’s equivalent to Facebook. 

Groupon headquartersGroupon is stepping up its commitment to Russia and the country’s largest internet group, Mail.ru. The e-commerce site announced on Tuesday it would begin offering deals on Odnoklassniki, one of Mail.ru’s social networking sites, allowing customers to make one-click purchases and follow friends’ shopping habits without ever having to leave the Odnoklassniki site.

David Gelles

Results from Facebook pages will soon begin appearing in Yandex, the leading search engine in Russia. Yandex.ru will also get a Facebook widget on its homepage.

It’s another example of search engines gaining access to the growing trove of information on Facebook’s social graph, and making search a bit more social. Just two weeks ago, Facebook deepened its ties with Microsoft’s search engine, Bing.

But the partnership also puts a wrinkle in Facebook’s relationship with investor Mail.ru (formerly known as Digital Sky Technologies). Mail.ru and Yandex are rivals, competing aggressively for eyeballs in Russia’s booming internet market.