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Google's Russian purchase blocked

Google's planned acquisition of an online advertising business in Russia was blocked by the country's antitrust authorities on Thursday, dealing a setback to the search company's efforts to raise its profile in one of the few big countries where it does not already have a dominant position.

The US company had agreed to pay $140m for Begun, a contextual advertising business owned by Russian internet portal Rambler, as it tried to catch up with Yandex, the country's leading search company.

No reason was immediately released for why the deal was blocked.

By Richard Waters

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