‘Apple abused market power in Russia with parental control apps’

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The Russian competition authority FAS has ruled that Apple is guilty of abusing its dominant position by restricting parental control apps. The company is appealing the decision.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia, after investigation, concludes that Apple is in a dominant position because it is the exclusive distributor for mobile applications on iOS and it is not possible to legally install iOS applications outside the App Store.

According to the FAS, the company has been abusing that position since October 2018 to limit options for developing parental control applications. The company did so when it added its own Screen Time functionality to iOS, the study said. According to the watchdog, the policy has resulted in the disappearance of most comparable functionality from third-party applications.

The antitrust case has been brought to the FAS in Russia by Kaspersky Lab. That company was told in 2018 that its Kaspersky Safe Kids app for iOS did not meet the terms of the App Store due to the use of configuration profiles, even though the app had already been available in Apple’s store for three years. In particular, Apple’s policy affected functionality that limited how long children can use certain apps and which sites they can visit. Screen Time also includes that functionality.

The FAS wants Apple to take steps to end the abuse and apply non-discriminatory terms of market access to ensure competition. Apple is appealing the verdict, Reuters said.

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