A Moscow court has overturned two decisions against McDonald’s (in a case called, yes, Moscow v. McDonald’s), allowing it to keep paying its old rent in two super-duper prime locations.
Two branches of the McD’s franchise — both on the historic Arbat — signed agreements, back in 1992, that allowed it to pay 1 ruble per square meter per year. Back in 1992, when the Russian economy imploded under the weight of Zimbabwe-esque inflation, this was a ridiculous price, equivalent, perhaps, to toilet paper. Today, with the Moscow real-estate market being what it is, it’s an even more ridiculous price. At today’s conversion rate, that’s $0.03 per square meter per year.
Perhaps this is just a signal to foreign business that they really are welcome — the court ruled that McDonald’s hadn’t violated the terms of the 1992 agreement — but really? How did this Happy Meal come about? Did something a la Daimler happen 18 years ago?