Apple Facing Russian Investigation Into Alleged Monopolistic App Store Behavior

Russia's FAS, or Federal Antimonopoly Service, has launched a formal investigation into Apple over alleged violation of antitrust laws about the App Store and Apple's restrictions that do not allow developers to link to third-party payment methods outside of the platform.

app store blue banner russia
In August, FAS issued a warning to Apple to "stop violating antimonopoly legislation" by not inhibiting developers from directing users to make in-app purchases from outside the ‌App Store‌, such as on the web. Apple "did not comply with the warning," according to a press release from the agency, and therefore a case has been opened against Apple on the grounds of violating antitrust laws.

"If Apple is found to be in violation of the Competition Law, it could face a turnover penalty on the amount of market revenue," the agency added. FAS stopped short of specifying how much a fine would be or under what timeframe.

Apple is no stranger to being scrutinized in Russia and by the FAS. This past April, the Cupertino tech giant was fined $12 million for violating anti-monopoly rules with the ‌App Store‌. Just a month earlier, Apple had agreed to comply with the Russian government's request that users be shown government-approved apps to download during initial device setup.

Apple has already announced steps it plans to take early next year to ease ‌App Store‌ restrictions. As part of a deal to close an investigation in Japan, Apple announced in September that it would allow "reader" apps to link to external websites in their apps. These links to external websites can help users set up or manage an account.

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Top Rated Comments

BootsWalking Avatar
13 weeks ago
Apple is running out of countries that don't find its business practices anti-competitive.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ksec Avatar
13 weeks ago
Adding Russia to the list of market Apple should pulled out as suggested by MR comments.

So it is now, EU, UK, AUS, Japan, South Korea, India, Russia

In case anyone wondering why US is missing. Yes, US is the only country with an on going AntiTrust threat or cases that MR wont suggest pulling out of.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cosmichobo Avatar
13 weeks ago
Kind of ironic...
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Adarna Avatar
13 weeks ago
This is how govts get big tech to compromise their user's privacy. Pressure them on one front and promise to lay off when they capitulate.

Taken another way any company must comply with the lawful orders of govt or else withdraw from that market like what Google did in China ('https://www.technologyreview.com/2018/12/19/138307/how-google-took-on-china-and-lost/').
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wildkraut Avatar
13 weeks ago

Hang on weren’t governments supposed to be providing infrastructure for society but were too incompetent or corrupt to do so and left it to corporate interests? Now they’re throwing in post-hoc regulation as an “oh yeah that” afterthought and pocketing a metric **** ton of cash from fining the corporates.

We can still choose the corporates we use and there is no monopoly I can think of other than government incompetence and greed.

UK here for ref.
It’s also the government’s obligation to enforce competition and keep the economy running stable and healthy now and farer in the future.

This is not only about Russia, Apple is running aground in the whole world. They can’t escape this, and moving out of a country here and there is not an option too.
Specially since they are being hunt in their own country.

Apple IS acting anticompetitive, simply as that… same for Google… both in their different ways.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sandstorm Avatar
13 weeks ago
You've got a nice App Store here. Some opposition apps still remaining.
It would be a shame if something happened to it.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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