South Africa’s media giant Naspers had approved the merger of its two Russian internet classified sites with larger competitor Avito.ru in a deal worth over $570 million, it emerged on Tuesday.

It is understood that this merger would set the scene for the consolidation of Russia’s internet market.

Financial Times reported that in terms of the transaction, Naspers’ Slando.ru and OLX.ru would be incorporated into the Avito brand.

This deal, according to the respected financial daily, would make what the proprietors believe would be the world’s third biggest classified website after Craigslist.org of the US and 58.com of China.

The unified group is projected to be the fifth most admired Russian website, with more than 100 million page views a day.

According to the Financial Times, Naspers would be investing $50 million in cash into Avito, presenting it with a 18.6 per cent stake in the new group.

The site’s other investors include Swedish investment funds Kinnevik Investments and Vostok Nafta, as well as Northzone Ventures, an early investor in Spotify, the online music streaming site, the Financial Times reported.

Beyond the deal, Avito would own a 25 percent share of the Russian classified market in terms of traffic and 15 percent share in terms of revenue, the newspaper reported.

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