April 25, 2006

Russian Internet Companies to Form Professional Association

Moscow, April 25, 2006. The leading Russian Internet companies Mail.ru, Rambler, RBC, and Yandex announce creation of a professional industry Association. An initiative group composed of these companies staff will prepare the package of statutory documents to be later presented to the sector.

The intention of the initiators is that the Association should unite people and companies for whom Internet content and online services are the main occupation, as well as those whose activities are closely associated with the Internet. The key purpose of the Association is to shape a unified position of the sector on various issues related to online business, as well as to interact with government agencies, NGOs and other sectors. The organizing companies plan to hold the founding meeting of the Association before the beginning of the autumn business season.

The issue of creating a professional sector organization of Russian Internet companies has been under discussion for two years. Over this time, the Web in Russia has become a serious business, the market got civilized, and the market players learned to cooperate. The fact that the first Conference “Internet and Business” was co-organized by ten companies is another proof of that, and more of such conferences will be included in the Association’s projects. Other ongoing objectives of the Association can also involve cooperation with legislative and executive bodies, promoting Internet as an advertising platform, and other relevant initiatives.

The Association will be open to a vast circle of Internet market players. Companies developing various Internet services, electronic media, online stores, design studios, advertising agencies displaying ads on the Web, ISPs, IP telephony and IP television service providers, online payment systems, legal and other consulting companies dealing with the Internet – all of them will be able to become members of the Association.

The Association intends to closely cooperate with (and in some cases potentially become a collective member of) related professional associations, like those of telecom and computer industries (Russian Association of Networks and Services, Information & Computer Technologies Industry Association – APKIT), advertisers (Russian Association of Communication Agencies), journalists and content producers (GIS, Russian

Contacts:
Elena Kolmanovskaya, Chief Editor
Michael Ushakov, Head of Yandex PR
Phone: +7 495 739-70-00
Fax: +7 495 739-70-70
E-mail: pr@yandex-team.ru





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