Russia accuses Apple of App Store antitrust, will fine the company

Russia says it will fine Apple for violating the country’s antitrust laws and abusing its “dominant position in the app store market” as “Apple prohibits iOS app developers from telling clients inside the app about the possibility of paying for purchases outside the App Store or using alternative payment methods.”

According to that Reutersthe Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) in Russia said it would “levy a turnover-based fine against the Apple App Store, the size of which would be determined during the course of an administrative investigation.”

This isn’t the first time a country has sued Apple for antitrust concerns. Just recently, the Cupertino company reached an agreement with the Dutch watchdog to start letting dating apps offer third-party payment options for its customers.

What’s different in this case is the fact that Russia is in the middle of a war with Ukraine. Even though Russia isn’t the first country to sue Apple over app store monopoly concerns, this comes at a time when the company has limited several functions for Russian iPhone users. They can’t use Apple Pay and Apple stopped its sales in the country.

Just last week, Apple was fined by the Russian court for refusing to store user iCloud data in the country. The court fined Apple 2 million rubles (worth approximately $34,000) for non-compliance. Russian courts have increasingly clashed with (predominantly US-based) big tech companies over issues of content censorship and data control in the months since the country invaded Ukraine.

Reuters report that this is another attempt by the Kremlin to “exert more control over the online spaces” as “Moscow has hit the Western firm with a string of fines for violating internet laws.”

App Store antitrust concerns started with Epic Games vs. Apple case in the US. After that, several countries, watchdogs, and companies went into a dispute with the Cupertino company to let third-party stores on the iPhone or even let developers charge for an app or subscription outside the App Store.

9to5Mac will report back once we hear more about this new lawsuit Russia is preparing.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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