MOSCOW, 18 Oct – PRIME. The Ninth Arbitration Court of Appeals, following a lower instance, confirmed the legality of both the decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia that Apple had abused its dominant position in the mobile application market, and the $12 million fine imposed on it for this.
As follows from the information in the file of arbitration cases, the court of appeal on Tuesday rejected the complaint of the American company against the decision of the Moscow Arbitration Court adopted in May, after which it entered into force.
In its statement, Apple challenged the decision and order of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of August 28, 2020 and the decision to bring to administrative responsibility of April 27, 2021. The court of first instance repeatedly postponed the consideration of the case at the request of the company, which declared the possibility of an amicable settlement of the dispute, but in the end the parties did not agree.
The antimonopoly agency, following a complaint by Kaspersky Lab, concluded that Apple abused its dominant position in the iOS app distribution market on two counts – obstruction of parental control application developers and non-transparent rules for allowing third-party applications in the App Store.
In particular, Kaspersky Lab complained to the Federal Antimonopoly Service about the unreasonable, in its opinion, rejection of versions of the parental control program Kaspersky Safe Kids (KSK) by Apple, as a result of which the next version of KSK lost a significant part of its functions. At the same time, Apple introduced its own Screen Time app in iOS version 12, which is similar in its capabilities to parental control apps.
As the FAS found, Apple, occupying 100% of the mobile application market in iOS, since October 2018 has consistently limited the tools and opportunities for developing parental control applications, as a result of which most of the functions of third-party applications have been lost.
The agency issued an order to the company to remove provisions from the documentation that allow third-party applications to be excluded from the App Store for any reason, exclude preferential conditions for applications of their own development, and also ensure that developers of parental control applications can distribute them in the App Store without loss important functions. In addition, the Federal Antimonopoly Service subsequently imposed a negotiable fine on Apple for violating antitrust laws.