Kaspersky Lab Files Antitrust Complaint Against Apple Over App Store Policy

Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab has filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service relating to the company's App Store distribution policy. The action comes less than a week after Spotify filed its own complaint against Apple with EU antitrust regulators over the tech giant's "unfair" ‌App Store‌ practices.


Kaspersky's complaint is specifically to do with Apple's removal of the Kaspersky Safe Kids app. In a blog post on the Kaspersky website, the firm says it received notice from Apple last year that the app, which had been in the ‌App Store‌ for three years, did not meet ‌App Store‌ guidelines owing to the use of configuration profiles.

Kaspersky was told by Apple that it would need to remove these profiles for the app to pass review and remain in the ‌App Store‌, but the Russian firm had argued this action essentially crippled the app. "For us, that would mean removing two key features from Kaspersky Safe Kids: app control and Safari browser blocking."

The first allows parents to specify which apps kids can't run based on the ‌App Store‌'s age restrictions, while the second allows the hiding of all browsers on the device so that web pages can only be accessed in the Kaspersky Safe Kids app's built-in secure browser.

Kaspersky argues that the change in Apple's policy regarding parental control apps coincided with the release of iOS 12 and Apple's own Screen Time feature, which lets users monitor the amount of time they spend using certain apps and websites, and set time restrictions. Kaspersky calls it "essentially Apple's own app for parental control," and claims that's why Apple changed its tune on the firm's Safe Kids app and other apps like it.

From our point of view, Apple appears to be using its position as platform owner and supervisor of the sole channel for delivering apps to users of the platform to dictate terms and prevent other developers from operating on equal terms with it. As a result of the new rules, developers of parental control apps may lose some of their users and experience financial impact. Most important, however, it is the users who will suffer as they miss out on some critical security features. The market for parental control apps will head toward a monopoly and, consequently, stagnation.

Kaspersky says it wants to continue its "winning relationship with Apple," but on "a more equal footing," and hopes that its application to the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service will "benefit the market at large" and require Apple to "provide competitive terms to third-party developers."

Kaspersky's dispute has parallels with the antitrust complaint brought against Apple by Spotify last week. The music streaming service filed the complaint with the European Commission, accusing the iPhone maker of enforcing ‌App Store‌ rules that "purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience" and "acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers."

Apple responded to the complaint two days later, labeling it "misleading rhetoric" and arguing that "Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free." A day later, Spotify fired back, claiming "every monopolist will suggest they have done nothing wrong" and that, consequently, Apple's response was "entirely in line" with its expectations.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
13 months ago
You mean the same clowns that work with the FSB? Not a chance. This isn't security; it's malware by a different name.

In Soviet Russia, Mac Hacks You.

UPDATE— https://apnews.com/a3144f4ef5ab4588af7aba789e9892ed
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
Ironically, it’s cases like this which (I feel) end up making a stronger case for Apple having the level of control over their platform that they do.

When it comes to sensitive features such as screen time and screen recording which basically entail someone else taking control of your entire device, I would rather that company be Apple (whom I do trust) rather than a third party developer.

I feel that in such cases, Apple is justified in restricting the ability of other companies to perform such actions. If there is a need, Apple will handle it themselves.

Maybe this is Apple acting anticompetitively, but I would personally have it no other way. The safest hands are still Apple’s own.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
Apple has a history of banning or crippling apps that overlap with a new app/feature that they are about to launch themselves (long after the “offending” apps launch). It is straightforward use of a platform to stifle competition, regardless of what the Apple apologists say. If the Apple app/feature is truly superior, it would win without such tactics.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
Installing configuration profiles effectively bypasses a lot of App Store rules. This is extremely stupid of Kaspersky.

They just want to ride Spotify's PR wave.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago
What you all say sounds valid, but then why did Apple permit this app to be sold until they finally built the same or similar functionality into iOS?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
13 months ago

Then perhaps these people should never have bought into the Apple ecosystem in the first place, when they knew very well what they were getting into when they embraced the walled garden philosophy.

To me, it’s not about right or wrong. It just is (the way that Apple does things), and if someone doesn’t like it, well, there’s always android.


It's just unbelievable how many people will just jump to support everything Apple related! I'm not an expert and I don't know the details of this case but I assume neither do you. Keep defending everything Apple does.

As far as the apple ecosystem you do realise there are users who use apple products for more than 10-20 years right? We have every right to complain if there's something we don't like. It's childish to suggest to consumers that either to use android or to shut up.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.4 With New Mail Toolbar, iCloud Folder Sharing, Trackpad Support for iPad and More

Tuesday March 24, 2020 9:56 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.4, the latest major updates to the iOS 13 operating system that was released in September. iOS and iPadOS 13.4 come two months after the release of iOS and iPadOS 13.3.1 with Screen Time Communication Limits. The iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.4 With Screen Time Communication Limits and Real-Time Apple Music Lyrics

Tuesday March 24, 2020 10:21 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.4, the fourth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October. macOS Catalina 10.15.4 comes a couple of months after the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.3. macOS Catalina 10.15.4 can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for free using the Update feature in the System Preferences app. The macOS Catalina 10.15.4 update...

Hands-On With Apple's New Smart Keyboard Folio for the 2020 iPad Pro Models

Tuesday March 24, 2020 12:38 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple last week introduced new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, which are set to arrive in the hands of customers starting this week. Apple introduced a nifty new Magic Keyboard with trackpad alongside the new iPad Pro models that's coming in May, but it also debuted a new Smart Keyboard Folio, which is available now. We picked up the Smart Keyboard Folio for the designed for the 2020 iPad...

Apple Helps Source Over 10 Million N95 Masks for Healthcare Providers in the U.S.

Wednesday March 25, 2020 10:25 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple over the weekend announced plans to donate millions of N95 masks to hospitals in the United States and Europe, and according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple has been able to source more than 10 million N95 masks in the U.S. and millions more in Europe. Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Saturday that Apple was aiming to donate supplies to healthcare providers fighting COVID-19, and clarified...

Apple Considering Delaying iPhone 12 Launch 'by Months'

Wednesday March 25, 2020 12:51 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is preparing to delay the launch of the 2020 iPhones expected to be equipped with 5G technology, according to sources with knowledge of Apple's plans that spoke to Japanese news site Nikkei. Apple has reportedly held internal discussions about the possibility of delaying the launch "by months" over fears of how well iPhones would sell in the current situation, and supply chain sources...

2020 iPad Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday March 24, 2020 5:34 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple last week introduced new iPad Pro models with an similar performing A12Z Bionic chip, an Ultra Wide camera for 0.5x zoom, and a LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality. The new iPad Pro models will begin arriving to customers and go on sale at select stores starting tomorrow, and ahead of time, the first unboxing videos have surfaced. The new iPad Pro models will be compatible with A...

Hands-On With the New 2020 12.9-Inch iPad Pro

Wednesday March 25, 2020 2:10 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple last week announced new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, and as of today, the new iPads are arriving to customers. We picked up one of the new 12.9-inch models and checked it out to see just what's new and whether it's worth buying. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. When it comes to design, the new iPad Pro models are identical to the 2018 iPad Pro models, but ...

Mobile Networks in Multiple Countries Display 'Stay Home' Message When Users Connect to Cellular Instead of WiFi

Tuesday March 24, 2020 3:46 pm PDT by Juli Clover
iPhone users in several countries who disconnect from WiFi on their devices will see a "Stay Home" message at the top of the Control Center where cellular network information is displayed. Image via Matt Navarra According to reports on Twitter, the status bar messages are showing up in countries that include Germany, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Peru, Turkey, India, Luxembourg, Romania,...

Apple Releases tvOS 13.4 for Fourth and Fifth-Generation Apple TV Models

Tuesday March 24, 2020 9:53 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released tvOS 13.4, the third major update to the tvOS operating system that runs on the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. tvOS 13.4 comes a couple of months after the release of tvOS 13.3.1. tvOS 13.4, a free update, can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System > Software Update. Apple TV owners who have automatic software ...

Benchmarks Suggest New iPad Pro's A12Z Chip is Nearly Identical to A12X in 2018 iPad Pro

Monday March 23, 2020 7:18 pm PDT by Juli Clover
One of the new 2020 iPad Pro models equipped with an A12Z chip arrived early to a Reddit user, who did some benchmarking tests to see how it performs. In a Geekbench 5 test, the 11-inch 2020 iPad Pro earned a single-core score of 1114 and a multi-core score of 4654, which is close to the Geekbench scores of the 11-inch iPad Pro from 2018. The 11-inch iPad Pro has an aggregate single-core G...