Ruling and remedies on the case No.110110-242019 against Apple Inc. (abuse of dominant position in the market for distributing mobile apps on the iOS operating system)
On August 10, 2020 the FAS Russia completed the consideration of the antimonopoly case against Apple Inc., initiated following the consideration of an application for violation of antimonopoly legislation from Kaspersky Lab (a developer of antivirus programs and parental control applications).
The Authority found that in the fall of 2018, after the release of the iOS 12 operating system with the pre-installed Screen time app, Apple Inc. began to restrict the tools and capabilities of third-party parental control applications, as a result of which such applications lost some of the important functionality.
At the same time, the pre-installed Screen time app has parental control functionality and uses iOS technology capabilities that are not available to third-party developers.
In addition, the company's documents which are guided by the developers contain ambiguous provisions, as well as provisions on the basis of which Apple Inc. may reject (deny) any third-party application from its App Store, even if it meets all the company's requirements.
After conducting a thorough investigation of the documentation and technological features of iOS applications and evaluating Apple's actions, the FAS Russia Commission concluded that the company had abused its dominant position in the market for distributing mobile apps on the iOS operating system.
Apple Inc. has been issued a remedy to eliminate the violation, according to which it must remove from its documentation provisions that give it the right to reject (deny) third-party apps in the App Store for any reason, even if they meet all the requirements.
The remedy also requires Apple Inc. to ensure that in-house apps do not take precedence over third-party apps, and that developers of parental control apps can distribute apps to the App Store without loss of the important functionality.
The company has to fulfill the requirements of the remedy by November 30, 2020, and inform the FAS Russia within 5 days from the date of implementation.