Russia’s Watchdog Investigates Apple For Anti-Competition Practices

Russia’s Watchdog Investigates Apple For Anti-Competition Practices

Apple is facing Russian scrutiny following a cybersecurity complaint that it is taking advantage of its controlling market position, Russia’s anti-monopoly watchdog told Reuters on Thursday (Aug. 8).

The watchdog group is investigating why the latest version of the Kaspersky Lab’s parental control app, Safe Kids, was declined by Apple’s operating system, which affected the app’s functionality.

When Reuters asked Apple about the Russian investigation, the tech giant referred to a statement it made on April 28 stating that it removed several parental control apps because they “put users’ privacy and security at risk.”

Apple said the removed apps used a “highly invasive” technology – Mobile Device Management (MDM) – that violated the App Store policies.

Kaspersky said Apple’s requirements created unfair competition for third-party developers. It further stated that Apple had guidelines allowing for limited MDM usage, but the process for getting permission was not clear.

Apple’s Screen Time functions similarly to Kaspersky’s Safe Kids, which allows parents to monitor their children’s phone and tablet usage.

In March, Apple refuted Spotify’s complaints that its App Store created unfair competition. Spotify said Apple made it difficult for competitors to reach App Store users without using Apple’s own payment option, which often takes a significant percentage of transactions, at about 30 percent.

In 2015, Apple was forced to comply with a Russian law requiring that the data of Russian citizens had to be stored on servers within the country’s borders. Russia’s largest payments service, Yandex.Checkout, last year started letting its customers add Apple Pay as a payment method in apps and on websites.

Visa has also found itself having to follow Russian law regarding international payments systems. The law states that all transactions had to be processed for the country despite U.S. sanctions.



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