The Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia (FAS) issued a warning to Apple because the company prohibits software developers from informing buyers of applications in the App Store about alternative payment methods.
As the department notes, the FAS received applications from users of devices based on iOS and application developers in this regard.
Applicants note that in some cases it is cheaper to buy a product, such as an e-book, on the seller's website, and then start reading in the application on an iPhone or iPad, logging in under your account. This is due to the fact that Apple provides a commission from 15% to 30% on each payment in the App Store. However, software developers cannot inform users about the possibility of purchases outside the App Store, according to Apple's rules.
So, in the App Store Review Guidelines (clause 3.1), which application developers must follow, it is forbidden to inform application users about the availability of an alternative method of paying for goods, and in any form. Including if the application contains a link to the developer's / service's website or a registration form with a transition to the website in a browser.
If the application contains links or something similar, then Apple refuses to publish it in the App Store until the developers remove the links or make it so that the registration form does not lead to external sites.
FAS Russia sums up its investigation as follows:
By these actions, Apple restricts developers in independent behavior, which negatively affects competition and may lead to an increase in prices for developers' products. "
The department issued a warning to Apple to eliminate violations. The company must fulfill the requirements no later than September 30, 2021.
Note that last week Apple announced some policy easing in this regard. The company has allowed developers to contact users directly, such as sending emails about the possibility of payments outside the App Store system.