MOSCOW: Google has stepped-up the pace of its march into the emerging market of Russia with the $140 million (€88m; £70m) purchase of Cyrillic online ad business Begun.

The deal with leading Russian search engine Rambler will also allow the latter to use Google's ad placement technology on its site.

Says Mohammad Gavdat, the search leader's MD for emerging markets: "The agreement means that even more users, advertisers and partners will get better results and more relevant advertising.

"This agreement emphasizes our desire to invest in Russia, where the online advertising market is growing at a tremendously fast pace."

Adds Begun general director Alexei Basov: "The entire industry will benefit from this transaction, as there is a high potential for synergies.

"It brings together Google's visionary technology and Begun's six years of successful experience in building advertising and dealer networks and direct sales in Russia."

The country's online ad market is expected to grow by around 50% per year, topping $1 billion by 2010.

The two parties are hoping to close the deal in September.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff