Apple sues Russian watchdog over obligation of alternative payment methods

Apple has gone to court in Russia to overturn a claim by the Russian competition authority FAS. That requirement states that app developers must be able to use links within iOS apps that refer to payment methods outside of Apple’s in-app payment system.

The FAS made its demand in August after it learned from developers that App Store users are getting cheaper purchases through the developers’ own channels rather than through Apple’s payment systems, Reuters writes. If Apple didn’t change its policies on third-party payment methods by the end of September, it would face a fine.

Although Apple did not comply with the watchdog’s demand, no fine has been imposed so far. Now the company wants to ensure through the Russian court that it is not fined by the competition authority.

It’s not the first time Apple has gone to court to keep its App Store policy intact. The company will appeal the ruling in the Epic Games lawsuit earlier this year, according to Bloomberg. In it, the company was obliged to allow links to alternative payment systems in the App Store. Apple also appealed in October, but lost.

Yet Apple’s digital store policy is coming under increasing pressure. In August, the South Korean parliament passed a bill that would force app stores like Apple and Google to accept alternative payment systems. Companies that do not comply with the law risk a fine of three percent of their turnover in the country. Apple previously indicated that it is against the amended law. The company claims that users who purchase apps through third-party payment systems are at greater risk of ‘fraud and privacy breaches’.

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