Russia has fined Apple $12 million for the alleged abuse of its monopolistic dominance in the mobile app market space. Fined for dominance, isn’t it a bit weird?
On Tuesday, the Federal Antimonopoly Service, aka FAS said that the iPhone maker’s distribution of apps via the iOS operating system gives their own products a competitive advantage over third-party apps.
To this, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant, said that they ‘respectfully’ disagree with the FAS’ ruling and will proceed to appeal it in the higher court.
This debacle comes at a time when several western tech companies are facing increasing pressure in Russia for quite some time. Prior to this, Moscow found a bone to pick with Twitter as the microblogging social networking platform failed to delete content which the state found illegal. Even Facebook, TikTok and Alphabet’s Google came under fire as well.
Russia’s watchdog FAS, in a statement, mentioned that it has slapped a turnover fine on the U.S based Apple Inc of a whopping RUB 906,299,392.16 (or $12.1 million) for the alleged violation of the country’s anti-monopoly legislation.
In August 2020, FAS determined that Apple had abused its dominant position in the app market space and then issued a directive requiring the iPhone maker to remove the provisions that give the company the right to reject third-party applications from its App Store.
But that wasn’t the end of Apple’s troubles. FAS’s move was soon followed by a complaint from the popular cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, which said that the U.S based tech giant’s O.S rejected a new version of their Safe Kids application.
In reply to Kaspersky, Apple said that it was proud to have been helping thousands of Russia-based developers, including the cybersecurity giant Kaspersky.
The iPhone maker, in a statement, said that they’d worked closely with Kaspersky to get their Safe Kids app in compliance with rules that were established to protect children. Moreover, Kaspersky had a total of 13 apps on the App Store, for which Apple has processed hundreds of updates.
Anton Gorelkin, a member of Russia’s State Duma Committee on information and communications, said that Apple certainly wouldn’t be devastated by the fine, but it would certainly help draw their attention to their financial statements.
Furthermore, Gorelkin took to Telegram to write that Russia is gradually approaching a serious kind of conversation with Big Tech that has long been in practice in the West.
Thus, all in all, it is well understood that the noose around Apple and other tech giants is all set to get tighter going forward as regulators and watchdogs from all around the world are cracking down on them.
Besides Russia, Epic Games is also trying to oust Apple’s monopolistic behaviour in their ongoing legal battle. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.