Russia has fined Apple $12 million for abusing its dominance in the App Store, marking the latest dispute between a U.S. big tech firm and Moscow.
Russian regulator, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), said yesterday that the iPhone maker’s app distribution through its iOS operating system gave its products a competitive advantage, which violated the country’s anti-monopoly legislation.
The regulator founded that in August 2020, Apple abused its market position by rejecting third-party apps from its App Store. The ruling came after cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab complained that third-party apps had rejected its Safe Kids application from its App Store, Reuters reported.
Apple plans to appeal the decision.
“We worked with Kaspersky to get their app in compliance with rules that were put in place to protect children. They now have 13 apps on the App Store and we have processed hundreds of updates for them,” Apple said in a statement, noting that it also works with thousands of developers in Russia.
Anton Gorelkin, a member of Russia’s State Duma Committee on information and communications, reportedly noted that while the fine is not anything significant, it sure will be noticeable on Apple’s financial statements.
“Gradually we are approaching the kind of seriousness in the conversation with Big Tech that has long been on display in the West,” Gorelkin said.
In recent months, other U.S. tech firms such as Twitter, Facebook and Google have also come under fire in Russia. Twitter, for one, has been punitively slowed down till mid-May for failing to delete content that Moscow says is illegal.