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Apple to fight Russia’s anti-monopoly agency in court, after US tech giant fined $12 million for abusing its App Store ‘dominance’

Apple to fight Russia’s anti-monopoly agency in court, after US tech giant fined $12 million for abusing its App Store ‘dominance’
US tech giant Apple has filed a lawsuit in a Moscow court to fight against a fine handed to it by Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). Last month, FAS ordered Apple to pay $12 million for abusing control of its app store.

Apple’s case is due to have a preliminary hearing on June 21, when its legal team will argue that the fine imposed is unfair.

At the end of April, FAS announced its decision to fine Apple $12 million (906 million rubles) for violating competition principles. The case was initiated in 2019 by Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity and anti-virus provider headquartered in Moscow. The company complained that Apple placed restrictions upon Kaspersky Safe Kids, a parental control app.

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The US tech giant was found guilty last August. In addition to a fine, the antitrust officials ordered Apple to stop restricting third-party developers on its App Store.

Last year, a FAS statement accused Apple of abusing its “dominant position” in the market.

“Access to the App Store is the only possibility 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,” said Aleksey Dotsenko, Deputy Head of FAS.

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Apple has also come under fire from Pavel Durov, the Russian-born creator of messaging app Telegram. Writing on Twitter last summer, Durov accused regulators of turning a blind eye to antitrust issues in technology.

“Apple and Google impose an insane 30% sales tax on all digital goods sold on every mobile phone in the world. The result – users pay higher prices, start-ups and entire industries get destroyed or never appear,” he said. “Regulators have been ignoring this absurdity for 10 years.”

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