Apple is facing App Store scrutiny in Russia as the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) today said (via Interfax) that Apple abused its dominant App Store position and limited competition in the iOS app market by banning parental control apps.
Cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab lodged an antitrust complaint with the FAS after Apple pulled the Kaspersky Safe Kids app from the App Store. Kaspersky Safe Kids had, at the time, been in the App Store for three years before Apple said that it was no longer allowed to use configuration profiles.
According to the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service, since 2018, Apple has limited “instruments and opportunities for the development of parental control apps,” leading to the loss of functionality in third-party apps.
The FAS also pointed out that the removal of the parental control apps coincided with the launch of the Screen Time feature, and that Apple is able to block any third-party app even if the app meets Apple’s specifications.
“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,” said the FAS.
The FAS plans to order Apple to address the regulatory violations. In response, Apple said that it respects the FAS but disagrees with the decision and will appeal the ruling.
Apple is also facing an antitrust investigation in the United States, with Apple CEO Tim Cook recently testifying in front of the U.S. House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, where he was grilled on Apple’s App Store policies.