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.
Russia’s “anti-Apple” law came into force today, meaning that all smartphones, tablets, and computers sold in the country must offer local software and apps as part of the setup process.
Apple reportedly “strongly opposed” the law, and even went so far as to threaten to pull out of the Russian market over it. However, as was the case with a government-created “Do Not Disturb” app in India, it eventually relented.
If a law proposed on Tusday to the Russian State Duma gets enacted, then Apple would only be able to collect a 20% commission on software sold through the App Store. And it would force Apple to allow iPhone users to install apps from other software stores.
A Russian law requiring all phones and computers, including iPhone and Mac, sold in that country come bundled with third-party software localized for Russia won‘t go into effect July 1, as had been originally planned. Instead, implementation won‘t occur until early next year.
This comes as a temporary reprieve for Apple. The company has such privacy concerns over this legislation it might withdraw from the country rather than comply with the law.
A dozen members of the European Parliament have sent letters to Apple. They are demanding that it correct information Crimea, the Russian annexed peninsula. When viewed inside Russia, both Apple Maps and Apple Weather present Crimea as belonging to Russia.
Russian lawmakers made the initial request to Apple. But it seems that a whole lot of people are not happy about it.
Russian President Vladimir Putin approved legislation that requires all phones and computers come bundled with third-party software localized for Russia. This is giving Apple such privacy concerns it might withdraw from the country.