Russia’s antitrust regulator has said that Apple abused its dominant position to illegally limit competition for parental control apps on iOS. In a press release, the country’s Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) said: “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”. Following the ruling, Apple has released a statement saying that it disagrees with the decision and plans to appeal against it soon.
The agency opened the case against Apple in September 2019 following a complaint by Kaspersky Lab. In its complaint, the cyber-security firm claimed that Apple had rejected its parental control software called Kaspersky Safe Kids (KSK) without offering a valid explanation. The complaint, filed in March 2019, accused Apple of pursuing a policy of “limiting instruments and opportunities for the development of parental control apps”. Most third-party apps lost significant functionalities as a direct fallout of such restrictive policies, the company alleged.
Kaspersky Labs in March 2019 announced that it had filed a complaint against Apple with the FAS in response to Apple’s sudden removal of the Kaspersky Safe Kids app. The software was available on the App Store without any issues for nearly three years before its removal. In its complaint, the company argued that the iPhone-maker was preventing 3rd-party developers from operating on a level playing field by tinkering with its App Store policies to suit its own interests, thereby violating Russia’s anti-monopoly laws.