In the United States, Apple is currently under scrutiny for its anti-competitive behavior, especially as it relates to the App Store. The company’s also facing similar investigations in the European Union. And now Russia is getting involved, too.
According to a report from Interfax (via MacRumors), Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) says that Apple is abusing its dominant position in the region via its App Store by limiting competition out of the digital storefront by banning parental control apps. The FAS began its investigation of Apple’s efforts in this regard back in August of 2019.
Things got heated when Apple pulled the Kaspersky Safe Kids app from the iOS App Store, despite the fact the app had been available in the storefront for three years at that point. Apple, at the time, told Kaspersky that it was no longer able to use configuration profiles via the Device Management functionality.
The FAS says that Apple has limited, “instruments and opportunities for the development of parental control apps”, which ultimately reduces functionality of third-party apps. Of course, the FAS noted that Apple’s removal of parental control apps coincidentally lined up with Apple’s launch of its own, first-party Screen Time functionality baked into iOS. The FAS says that Apple has free rein to block any third-party app it wants, even if that app falls within the company’s published guidelines for apps.
Per the FAS:
Apple occupies a dominant position with a 100% share of the market for mobile apps based on the iOS operating system because it is only legally possible to install such apps from the App Store.
Of course, Apple is going to appeal the ruling and says that it disagrees with the investigation conducted by the FAS, something it has said before.
Here we go again, right? What do you think of all this? Let us know in the comments below.