Apple is abusing its dominance on the App Store

The Russian anti-monopoly service says Apple is abusing its dominance on the App Store and limited competition in the iOS app market by banning parental control apps.

Apple is facing a  control of the App Store in Russia since the federal anti-Russian monopoly Service (FAS) said that the company had abused its dominant position on the App Store and the limited competition in the market by banning iOS app parental control apps.

The FAS began investigating Apple’s App Store policies in  August 2019  after the company removed  parental control apps.

Cyber ​​security firm Kaspersky Lab  filed an antitrust complaint  with the FAS after Apple removed the Kaspersky Safe Kids app from the App Store. At the time, the app had been on the Store for three years before Apple claimed it was no longer authorized to use configuration profiles.

According to the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, since 2018, Apple has limited ” tools and opportunities for developing parental control apps,” leading to the loss of functionality of third-party apps.

The FAS also pointed out that the removal of parental control apps coincided with the launch of the Screen Time feature, and that Apple is able to block any third-party app even if the app meets the company’s requirements.

“Apple occupies a dominant position with a 100% share of the market for mobile apps based on the iOS operating system because it is legally possible to install such apps only from the” App Store “, FAS said.

As for the consequences of the ruling, the FAS says it will force Apple to ” remedy the violations “. For now, it’s unclear what that exactly means, but it could result in the App Store’s policy loosening for using MDM-based parental control apps in Russia.

However, Apple plans to appeal the decision, so it may be some time before the investigation ends.

Apple said in a statement, seen by Interfax, that it complies with the FAS but disagrees with its decision and intends to appeal the ruling.

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