MOSCOW: Russian antitrust authorities on Thursday imposed a temporary halt to Google's masterplan to take over the universe, vetoing the search titan's attempt to acquire Begun, a contextual advertising business owned by Russian internet portal Rambler.

Google had slapped $140 million (€108.71m; £86.52m) on Rambler's table in what all parties assumed to be a done deal - one that would have enabled the Californian colossus to leverage its profile in one of the few major world markets in which it is not already paramount.

Currently it lags well behind Russian search leader Yandex.

Meantime, only the Russian competition regulator knows why it torpedoed the transaction. And it's not saying.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff