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Russian antitrust authority raps Apple for abusing dominance on App Store

The Russian Antimonopoly Service pulled up Apple on Monday for what it called abuse of “dominant position in relation to the developers of mobile parental control applications and limited competition in the market for the distribution of applications for mobile devices operating the iOS operating system”. “Apple will be issued with an injunction to correct the breach,” FAS said. Apple told Reuters, which first reported the ruling, that it will appeal the decision; the company told MediaNama it has nothing further to add on the issue.

The case was in response to a complaint by Kaspersky saying that its parental control app was booted off the App Store just as Apple upgraded its own competing solution. Apple has said that it has only removed such apps for using technologies that could threaten user privacy. “The investigation found that Apple dominates with a 100% share of the mobile app distribution market on the iOS operating system, as it is only legally possible to install such an app from the App Store,” the RAS said, according to a machine translation of their statement on the case.

As for the App Store exclusivity, Apple has argued that it only places this limitation for “native” applications, which are installed on a user’s device and can be accessed directly from the iOS home screen. Web apps, which are less conveniently accessible and often not nearly as good a user experience, are not similarly restricted. This ruling by the Russian antitrust service seems to reject that argument.

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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