Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has fined Apple $12 million for allegedly abuse its prominent position in the world of mobile apps.
It claims that Apple gives its own products a competitive advantage on iOS. Apple “respectfully [disagrees]” with the decision.
The complaint dates back to 2019 and an incident in which cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab accused Apple of monopolistic behavior. At the time, Apple had sent a notice to the company, accusing its Kaspersky Safe Kids iOS app of breaking Apple’s rules. The app had previously been available, without problem, for close to three years. Apple had just released its then-new Screen Time rule, which offered similar functionality.
Apple says that it worked with Kaspersky to resolve the issue. “We worked with Kaspersky to get their app in compliance with rules that were put in place to protect children,” Apple said in a statement. “They now have 13 apps on the App Store and we have processed hundreds of updates for them.”
Anton Gorelkin, a member of Russia’s State Duma committee on information and communications, said that the $12 million fine isn’t meant to bring down Apple, but will at least show that the FAS is serious.
For its part, Apple has made a few changes to avoid criticisms of its running of the App Store. Apple last year dropped its App Store commission from 30% down to 15% for the majority of developers. More pertinent to this situation it also downgrades its own products in App Store search results. This could help fight off accusations of favoritism.