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Russian search engine giant getting into Finnish taxi business

Russian web search firm Yandex is reportedly poised to enter Finland's changing taxi market.

Yango taxi. Image: Yandex

Russian search engine company Yandex is establishing a taxi service in Finland, according to news agency STT. The country has seen significant changes in the taxi service industry since broad reforms on the sector went into effect last summer.

Yandex taxis already operate in 13 countries, but in Finland the company will operate under the brand name Yango starting on Friday in Helsinki, according to mobile tech news outlet Mobiili.

The site reports that Yango will use its own navigation and AI technologies, which the company said would help keep down customer costs.

Yango will also reportedly differ from the fully-independent ride sharing firm Uber in that it will cooperate with local taxi firms and drivers.

The starting price for Yango rides, which customers will be able to order via Android or iOS apps, will be three euros, then €1.20/km and €0.15 per minute (or €0.45 during peak hours), according to Mobiili (siirryt toiseen palveluun) (in Finnish).

The outlet estimated rides to Helsinki Airport in Vantaa from Helsinki's city centre would cost about 29 euros.

Yandex began its taxi service in 2011 and the firm has since made more than one billion trips in 13 countries, mostly in former states of the Soviet Union. Yandex operates a large data centre in southern Finland's municipality of Mäntsälä.