Back in 2022, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) in Russia accused Apple of anti-competitive practices when it came to the iOS App Store . Last year, the regulator decided to fine the American company 1.2 billion rubles (which was $17.4 million at the time), and now the Russian government claims that it has finally received money from Apple.
Apple fined by the Russian government
As reported Russian According to the TASS news agency, on January 19, 2024, Apple paid the FAS a fine of 1.2 billion rubles (now $13.4 million). The message states that the money “was received by the government of the Russian Federation.” 8221; after the Russian antitrust authority ruled that the company violated antitrust laws regarding the iOS App Store.
According to the FAS, the fine was imposed because “Apple forced Russian iOS application developers to use the company’s payment instrument in their applications.” The regulator also noted that App Store rules prohibit developers from “informing in-app customers about the possibility of paying for purchases outside the App Store and using alternative payment methods.”
However, despite paying the fine, it is unknown whether Apple has agreed to change its business App Store model in Russia so that it complies with local legislation. Recently in the US, Apple was forced to allow developers to redirect users to alternative online payment methods after the Supreme Court rejected the company's appeal.
Despite this, the company will still charge a 27% commission on sales outside the App Store based on audits of app developers. And soon Apple will also be forced to allow alternative payment methods and even sideloading for users in the European Union.
The situation of Apple in Russia
The situation of Apple in Russia is quite complicated. Following the country's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the company suspended sales of its products in Russia, and Apple Pay was also closed in the country due to sanctions imposed by the US government and the European Union.
However, Apple decided not to suspend its other services in the country, especially the App Store. Although the company has never commented on its decision, it is likely that it decided not to deny Russian citizens access to applications and information. Hardware services are also provided to Russian customers.
Because Apple still operates in Russia, despite not officially selling its latest hardware, it is still subject to fines for not complying with local laws. Interestingly, since the Russian government now allows parallel imports to avoid sanctions, Russians can still find the latest Apple devices in some stores.
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