Russia might force Apple to change critical App Store payment policy

Russia might force Apple to change critical App Store payment policy

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Read Epic Games' reasonable idea for opening up the App Store
Russia joined the voices around the world demanding Apple loosen its grip on the App Store and in-app purchases.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Add Russia to the list of countries investigating the App Store. It is reportedly looking into whether Apple’s policy forbidding iPhone developers from telling customers about alternate — and possibly cheaper — payment options is a violation of its antitrust laws.

The U.S. and other countries are asking that same question.

Russian bear looks into App Store payment policies

Russia’s anti-monopoly regulator had already warned Apple that it faced a fine if it didn’t change the App Store policy, according to Reuters.

Apple could end up having to pay a fine “based on its revenue in Russia,” according to the news agency.

No ‘steering’ allowed… for now

Apple forbids developers to point customers to their own websites to make in-app purchases, a process called “steering.” Currently, these purchases must go through Apple’s payment system. For now.

The judge’s ruling in the Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit ordered the iPhone-maker to change that rule. The ruling is being appealed, though.

But antitrust investigators in the Netherlands recently ordered Cupertino to make changes to App Store rules over in-app payments. There was a similar ruling in South Korea in late August.

With all of this pressure, Apple will be hard pressed to maintain its lock on in-app payments.