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    Ozon has announced // Marketplace entered the classifieds market amid new industry regulation

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    As Kommersant found out, Ozon is launching an online ad service for individuals. It has already started working in Rostov-on-Don and should be expanded to the whole country. Market participants recognize that the emergence of a new player is timely: against the backdrop of the economic crisis and supply constraints, demand for used goods is growing. But Ozon does not hide the fact that the project will have to be curtailed if amendments to the law “On Information” are adopted, which limit the share of foreigners in ad services. Amendments to the law “On Advertising” may also have an impact on the project, assuming the creation of a single operator of digital outdoor advertising and bulletin boards. They have already passed the first reading.

    The Ozon marketplace launched its own bulletin board, follows from the company’s letter to the Ministry of Economy dated July 6 with proposals for amendments to the law “On Information”, submitted to the State Duma in early June by the deputy chairman of the committee State Duma by Anton Gorelkin. The amendments propose limiting the share of foreigners to 20% in ad services for the sale of goods, performance of work, provision of services, job search or employees.

    Classified works as a section on the marketplace portal. Advertisements for the sale of goods can be placed by both individuals and Ozon sellers – for example, to sell discounted goods. The section contains photos of the actual condition of the goods. In the general issue of ads, they will be embedded in separate widgets, Ozon explained. Delivery service is not yet provided. Investments in the project are not disclosed.

    Meanwhile, in a letter to the Ministry of Economy, the company notes that the adoption of the bill in its current form “will require the complete cessation of Ozon’s activities or the closure of the ad placement service, which will lead to a significant aggravation of current economic problems as for the company itself and for Russian citizens.”

    Also on July 8, Artem Kiryanov, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, amended the law “On Advertising” (on July 15, the document was adopted in the first reading).

    The need for this is due to the protection of billboards and ad services from cyber attacks. Many market participants (Avito, Yula, HeadHunter, YouDo, Avto.ru, etc.), as well as government agencies, have already actively spoken out against the adoption of the amendments, emphasizing the risks of market monopolization. The author of the amendments insists that this is out of the question.

    Herman Klymenko, Chairman of the Board of the Digital Economy Development Fund, is sure that even if amendments to the law “On Advertising” are adopted, specialized services will not be closed. “However, it is not at all clear how they will work,” the expert admits. “Until there are by-laws, the entire market will be in limbo.”

    Karen Kazaryan, head of the Internet Research Institute, disagrees with this. . According to him, the current wording of the draft amendments to the law “On Advertising” “allows us to assume that there may be more than one operator of classifieds.” It just cannot have foreign participation.

    He notes that in recent years there have often been bills aimed at regulating certain types of Internet services, often redundant in relation to the general regulation of the law on information: “In my opinion, such a severe restriction of foreign ownership in relation to classifieds, it is not justified in any way and will lead to the closure of most popular services that are public companies.”

    At the same time, analysts believe that the launch of the project did not cost the company large investments. Leonid Delitsyn from Finam estimated the development of the classification at 15–25 million rubles. Creating a service using the existing platform does not require large investments, Mikhail Burmistrov, CEO of Infoline-Analytics, agrees.

    The emergence of a new player is an expected phenomenon: the demand for used goods against the backdrop of the economic situation and sanctions is growing , and on the classifieds there are positions that are not available for open sale, said a Kommersant source in the classifieds market. Amazon, a model largely adopted by Ozon, also has the ability to sell and buy used goods. Marketplaces are forced to create all the services that competitors have, Leonid Delitsin believes: “The consumer should not have to leave the marketplace for any product or service.”

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