Russia's Anti-Monopoly Watchdog to Investigate Apple Following Antitrust Complaint

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Apple is under investigation by Russia's anti-monopoly watchdog following a complaint from cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab that the company is abusing its dominant position in smartphone apps, Reuters reports this morning.


Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) says it is investigating why a new version of Kaspersky Lab's Safe Kids application has not been updated on the iOS App Store, resulting in "a significant loss in functionality for the app."

Back in March, Apple pulled Kaspersky Safe Kids app from the ‌App Store‌, prompting Kaspersky to file an antitrust complaint against Apple with the FAS.

Safe Kids allowed parents to specify which apps kids can run based on the ‌App Store‌'s age restrictions and let them hide browsers on their device so that web pages could only be accessed in the Kaspersky Safe Kids app's built-in secure browser.

Apple said it removed the app because it didn't meet its ‌App Store‌ guidelines, but Kaspersky argued that the app had already been in the ‌App Store‌ for three years and was only pulled because Apple had just released iOS 12 with its own Screen Time feature, which offers similar parental control functions.

Kaspersky's dispute has parallels with an antitrust complaint brought against Apple by Spotify earlier this year.

Spotify filed a complaint with the European Commission, arguing that the tech giant's ‌App Store‌ policy lets it act as "both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers."

Apple responded by calling the complaint "misleading rhetoric" and argued that "Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free."

Apple is also under investigation by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) to decide whether the company is abusing its position in the ‌App Store‌ by, for example, giving preferential treatment to its own apps. Apple has said it is "confident" the probe "will confirm all developers have an equal opportunity to succeed in the ‌App Store‌."

Top Rated Comments

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15 months ago
Love it. Russia standing up for the rule of law. Up next, North Korea accuses western nations of being closed societies.

Note: kidding, people.

Edit: sort of.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 months ago
Kaspersky: A completely not dodgy company run out of a completely benign state. I'd certainly trust them to have elevated access to not only all my personal devices but also my families devices via a mechanism which can be abused. They definitely seem like the kind of guys that wouldn't deliver malware to my phone. Also, if anyone can be trusted to deal with this fairly it's definitely a Russian government watch dog.

Apple did the right thing.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42202191
https://www.pcworld.com/article/3050464/hackers-can-abuse-the-ios-mobile-device-management-protocol-to-deliver-malware.html
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 months ago
Updating iOS with new features and then banning apps because they duplicate those same built-in features is clearly anti-competitive.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 months ago
Russia has an anti-monopoly watchdog? Is it also investigating Putin's communist mafia. Or maybe Putin is the watchdog.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 months ago

Kaspersky: A completely not dodgy company run out of a completely benign state. I'd certainly trust them to have elevated access to not only all my personal devices but also my families devices via a mechanism which can be abused. They definitely seem like the kind of guys that wouldn't deliver malware to my phone. Also, if anyone can be trusted to deal with this fairly it's definitely a Russian government watch dog.

Apple did the right thing.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42202191
https://www.pcworld.com/article/3050464/hackers-can-abuse-the-ios-mobile-device-management-protocol-to-deliver-malware.html

You are absolutely right. Trusting any Russian software, let alone one that has close ties to the Russian government would be a big mistake.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 months ago

Updating iOS with new features and then banning apps because they duplicate those same built-in features is clearly anti-competitive.

False.

Apple just came up with an excuse to ban the Ruskies' spyware.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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