Russia fines Apple $12 million for antitrust practices on the App Store

Apple is already appealing the decision.

What you need to know

  • Russia’s antitrust authority has fined Apple $12 million for antitrust practices.
  • The orders have been halted as Apple has filed an appeal.

Apple is going to need to shell out some of those Q2 2021 earnings to Russia.

As reported by The Moscow Times, Russia’s antitrust authority has fined Apple $12 million as a result of a lawsuit brought against the company by the cybersecurity company Kaspersky.

Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) said in a statement that Apple was found to have “abused its dominant position in the distribution of mobile applications on the iOS operating system.”

“Apple was found to have abused its dominant position in the distribution of mobile applications on the iOS operating system through a series of actions that led to a competitive advantage for its own products, and at the same time worsened the distribution conditions for competing products.”

The fine is related to another ruling which said that Apple had wrongfully blocked Kaspersky from adding features to its Safe Kids parental control app while launching its competing Screen Time feature. Apple at the time said that it had blocked certain functionality in parental control apps because it invaded the privacy of children.

The fine of 906 million rubles ($12.1 million) relates to a previous FAS ruling that Apple had wrongfully blocked Kaspersky from launching an update to its Safe Kids parental control app, while Apple simultaneously launched Screen Time, a feature offering a similar service to Kaspersky.

Apple has rejected the accusations. When the case was first launched in 2019, the technology giant said it had removed a number of parental control apps from the App Store because they “put users’ privacy and security at risk,” through the use of “highly invasive” technology.

In addition to the fine, the FAS also ordered Apple to remove terms and conditions that give the company the right to “reject third-party applications from the App Store for any reason, even if they meet all requirements”, and required Apple to ensure “in-house apps do not take precedence over third-party apps.”

Apple has confirmed that it will continue to appeal the decision, causing the FAS to suspend its orders until the appeal is heard and decided upon.

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