App Store faces another antitrust investigation in another country. Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) says that Apple ignored the agency’s warning to remove its anti-steering policy by September 30, 2021, which violates antimonopoly legislation. Therefore, the agency has opened an antitrust investigation against Apple.
In most countries, Apple does not allow developers to add links to external websites to offer alternative payment methods outside the App Store. The company charges 15% to 30% commission on all in-purchases via the App Store, that’s why steering users to alternative payments methods impacts the company’s revenue.
However, two recent legal decisions have changed App Store ‘steering’ policy in the U.S. In the Epic Games ruling, Judge found Apple’s anti-steering policy in violation of antitrust laws and ordered the company to allow developers to add links to alternative payment methods on their apps. Moreover, the Cupertino tech giant agreed to the addition of links to alternative payment methods to settle a lawsuit with U.S developers. Maybe, these actions motivated the Russian FAS authority to go after App Store’s steering policy.
After gains from Epic Game ruling and settlement with U.S developers, Russia seeks to remove App Store ‘steering’ restriction
As per the FSA statement, the agency explained that Apple’s anti-steering policy violates antimonopoly legislation and warned the company to remove the restriction. However, as the result of the company’s non-compliance, the agency has launched an investigation which could result in a penalty if Apple is found guilty.
The FAS Russia concluded that by these actions Apple is abusing its dominant position in the distribution market for iOS applications. * The Antimonopoly Service issued a warning to the company to eliminate the violation by September 30, 2021.Apple did not comply with the warning, in connection with which the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia opened a case on violation of antitrust laws against the company. If Apple is found to be in violation of the Competition Law, it could face a turnover penalty on the amount of market revenue.