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FAS Russia Finds Apple Abusing Dominant Position in App Market

11.08.2020
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On 10 August 2020, the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia delivered its verdict on the antitrust case initiated against Apple Inc. at the request of the Kaspersky company.

In the course of the investigation, it was found that Apple holds a dominant position with a 100% share in the market for distribution of iOS operating system mobile applications, since such applications can only legally be installed from the App Store itself.

The offense is a result of Apple's sustained policy since October 2018 of imposing limitations on the technical tools and capabilities for developers of parental control applications, with the result that most of the functionality of third-party applications has been lost.

The implementation of this policy coincided with the release of the company's own pre-installed Screen Time application, which has functionality similar to that of parental control applications.

FAS Russia ultimately ruled that Apple has abused its dominant position in relation to developers of parental control mobile applications and has limited competition in the market for mobile device applications operating under the iOS operating system.

The violation is also voiced on grounds that Apple has the ability to reject any third-party application from the App Store, even if it meets all Apple requirements.

Apple will be issued a ruling with requirements to eliminate violations.

“Access to the App Store is the only opportunity for application developers to distribute their products on the iOS operating system, and it is extremely important to create non-discriminatory conditions for market access to ensure competition,” ~ Aleksey Dotsenko, Deputy Head of FAS Russia

Olga Gavrilova, BRICS Competition Centre expert: "These days we can see how significantly big iconic companies, reaching a dominant position with a 100% share in the markets, affect competition. In particular, monopolists abuse its dominant position and prevent to market access for companies that can create innovative and technological solutions for society. Thus, regulation of competition is currently a prerequisite for the innovative economic development that meets the public interest.

As it was noted in the BRICS academic report on Digital Era Competition Law in the reality of the new digital age the authorities need to keep pace with technology in order to ensure equal rules for all market participants and protect the society from negative effects. The current trend is that antitrust authorities give even more attention to suppressing anticompetitive practices in the digital economy. A recent landmark example is the investigation of Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia initiated against Apple Inc. at the request of the Kaspersky company."


Note:

According to section 1 of article 10 of the Law on the Protection of Competition, actions (or inaction) of an economic entity occupying a dominant position are prohibited, when the result of which is or may be the prevention, restriction, or elimination of competition and (or) infringement of the interests of other persons (business entities) in the field of entrepreneurial activity and consumer relations.