BAKU, Azerbaijan—Azerbaijan refuses to cooperate with NewCo, a company formed as the result of a merger of Uber and Yandex Taxi, Baku Transport Agency spokesperson Mayis Agiyev told Sputnik Azerbaijan on July 17.
According to Agiyev, Azerbaijan’s rejection is because the newly-formed company’s CEO, Tigran Khudaverdiyan, is ethnically Armenian.
“For this reason, after the unification of Yandex Taxi and Uber companies, if this structure is to be headed by an Armenian citizen or a person of Armenian origin, the taxi drivers of Baku will be called on to cease communication with this company. Also, the issuance of special signs for taxis will be suspended for those [taxis] working with the newly established company,” Agiyev told Sputnik.
Yandex and Uber announced the founding of the new company on July 13. The two companies will combine their ride-sharing businesses in the former Soviet republics of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus.
Yandex will own 59.3 percent of NewCo, while Uber will own 36.6 percent. The remaining 4.1% of the company will be owned by the employees. Once the merger is completed, clients will be able to continue using their Yandex and Uber apps, whereas drivers’ applications will be able to field requests from both.
“This combination greatly enhances Yandex’s ability to offer better quality service to our riders and drivers, to quickly expand our services to new regions, and to build a sustainable business,” Tigran Khudaverdiyan, CEO of Yandex Taxi said in an official statement.
“The combined companies currently perform over 35 million rides a month while growing over 400 percent year-over-year. Since founding Yandex Taxi in 2011, we have connected tens of millions of riders and drivers to become the largest and most trusted ride-sharing business in Russia and neighboring countries. We are excited to expand on this foundation in collaboration with Uber,” he added.