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CEO of Sberbank Herman Gref: “We have significantly fewer competitive areas with Mail.ru Group than with Yandex”

April 22, 2021|
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The head of Sberbank Herman Gref commented in an interview with RBC on the information that had previously appeared in the media about possible disagreements with Mail.ru Group within their joint venture.

“We have significantly fewer competitive areas with Mail.ru Group (than with Yandex). We have a very good relationship and find solutions to similar complex problems that arise. It would be nonsense to say that they do not arise, because the two ecosystems are in contact”, - Gref explained.

The disagreements between Sberbank and Mail.ru Group within the joint venture became known in November last year. The media reported that the parties could not determine what would become the basis of their common ecosystem: the financial services of Sberbank or VKontakte, a social network owned by Mail.ru.

In addition, Gref spoke about the need to regulate ecosystems in the interview. According to him, it is necessary to maintain competition in the domestic market and enable small players to maintain their competitiveness. “In this sense, I agree: the big companies should be under control. In no case should they be allowed to retreat into themselves and close the market to competition. This is what regulation is needed for. And so far no one knows what kind of regulation is needed, because the online ecosystem is a new reality”, - the head of Sberbank said.

Another question was dedicated to the influence of technology giants and ecosystems on the political and economic processes of states. According to Gref, this topic is exaggerated and represents a “pure hype”. “No ecosystem will ever be able to compete with the state. The state can easily deal with any ecosystem. But this lag in regulation may exist to ensure that ecosystems do not cross the red lines in some areas... States are clumsy, they study the situation for a long period of time, but then they make tough decisions that are binding on everyone”.

Original (in Russian)

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