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Russian Anti-Monopoly Watchdog Finds Apple Guilty of Antitrust Abuse With App Store

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On Monday, Russia found Apple guilty of abusing its dominant position in the mobile apps market.

In the United States, Apple is currently under scrutiny for its anti-competitive behavior, especially as it relates to the App Store. The company’s also facing similar investigations in the European Union. And now Russia is getting involved, too.

According to a new Reuters report, Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) today announced that it has found Apple guilty of abusing its dominant position in the mobile apps market and will require the firm to resolve its regulation breaches.

“Apple occupies a dominant position with a 100 percent share of the market for mobile apps based on the iOS operating system because it is only legally possible to install such apps from the App Store,” an FAS statement notes.

The FAS opened the case against Apple in September 2019 following a complaint by Kaspersky Lab that that Apple had unreasonably rejected versions of parental control software Kaspersky Safe Kids and as a result a new version lost a significant part of its functionalities.

The FAS says that Apple has limited, “instruments and opportunities for the development of parental control apps,” which ultimately reduces functionality of third-party apps. Of course, the FAS noted that Apple’s removal of parental control apps coincidentally lined up with Apple’s launch of its own first-party Screen Time functionality baked into iOS. The FAS says that Apple has free rein to block any third-party app it wants, even if that app falls within the company’s published guidelines for apps.

“[Apple] reserved the right to switch off and block any third-party app from the App Store even if that app met all of Apple’s specifications,” the FAS explains.

Apple said it will appeal the ruling.

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