Russia imposes a $12 million fine on Apple


 

Russia's anti-monopoly regulator, the Federal Antitrust Service (FAS), announced that it had imposed a $ 12 million fine on Apple over complaints that it had taken strict measures against parental control applications affiliated with other entities. External.


Russia's antitrust regulator began its investigation after receiving a complaint from Kaspersky Lab in March 2019 alleging that Apple had forced it to reduce the functionality of its Safe Kids app shortly after Apple added the Screen Time feature to iOS 12.


The fine comes in the same week that European Union regulators are expected to issue charges of their own against Apple.


This comes in response to a complaint from the Spotify platform in March 2019 about the 30 percent fee that Apple gets for in-app purchases, which it said: It gives Apple's own services an unfair advantage.


In addition to Spotify, parental control apps Kidslox and Qustodio have also complained to European regulators, The New York Times reported in April 2019.


In its statement, which was reported by Reuters for the first time, Russia's antitrust regulator said: It wants Apple to take steps to ensure that its applications do not enjoy an unfair advantage, and that parental control application developers can distribute their programs without having to restrict their functions.


Russia's antitrust regulator originally decided that Apple had misused its market position in August of last year.


In response to the fine, Apple said: It does not agree with the regulator's decision and is moving to appeal the ruling.


A company spokesperson said: We have worked with Kaspersky Lab to bring its application into compliance with the rules established to protect children, and it now has 13 applications across the App Store and we have processed hundreds of updates for them.


Apple originally justified restricting the functionality of third-party parental control applications because it said: It uses MDM mobile device management technology, which is intended for enterprises to control the company's devices.


It's incredibly dangerous for consumer-focused apps to have the same level of control, and it can make them vulnerable to hacking, Apple said.


However, after the developers protest, Apple later changed its policies to allow MDM technology to be used for parental control apps, but only in limited cases.


Kaspersky Lab at the time welcomed the changes but expressed concern that the use of the technology required written approval from Apple.

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