FAS against Apple: let third-party developers enter the App Store without moderation

Let third-party developers into the App Store without moderation. IT Market


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Natalia Solovieva | 08/24/2020

FAS against Apple: let third-party developers enter the App Store without moderation

The Federal Antimonopoly Office found Apple guilty of abusing its dominant position in the iOS mobile application market. The investigation lasted
year. Apple will have to address the violations. However, the company itself does not agree with the FAS verdict.

The reason for initiating the case was a complaint from Kaspersky Lab.

According to its management, Apple rejected the versions of the parental control program Kaspersky Safe Kids developed by the company without any reason.

Apple has been pursuing a policy that limits the tools and capabilities for developing parental control applications for nearly two years, according to informed media. So, in one
from its official statements, the company explained the removal of third-party parental control applications from the App Store by the fact that they did not meet the requirements for
user security and privacy.

Interestingly, experts note that the beginning of this policy of restrictions coincides with the release of Apple’s pre-installed Screen Time application. Its functionality is similar to
parental control applications. For example, Screen Time analyzes how the user works with applications and websites, and creates detailed daily and weekly reports, which reflect
the total time spent in each application, and many other indicators, including the number of sessions with the gadget. The user thus gets a complete picture of his
work with the device, and, using the App Limits function, gets the opportunity to limit the time of work with a specific application, website or category as a whole.

As a result, a significant part of the functionality of third-party applications was lost. In addition, according to FAS experts, Apple applies non-transparent requirements to software developers.

According to the official message of the antitrust department, the results of the investigation showed that Apple is in a dominant position.
in the market of mobile applications for iOS – in fact, the company’s share is 100%. Customers can install this or that application exclusively from the App Store (about illegal methods
there is no download of speech). In addition, the company abuses its position in relation to developers of parental control mobile applications and restricts competition in the market.
applications for mobile devices running iOS. For example, the company does not allow any third-party applications in the App Store, despite the degree of compliance of the latter with all requirements.
Apple.

Following the investigation, the FAS will send an order to Apple, and the company will have to eliminate all violations specified in the document. As the deputy head of the FAS Alexey Dotsenko stated in the media,
for application developers, access to the App Store is the only opportunity to distribute their products on the iOS operating system, and the conditions for market access without discrimination
are essential to maintaining a competitive environment.

As Eldar Murtazin, an analyst at Mobile Research Group, commented, the amount of the first fine in this case will be insignificant – only 5 thousand rubles. But if the intruder is not the problem
will correct, then the next fine will be a certain part of the turnover, and its amount can reach hundreds of millions of rubles. Apple cannot lose the Russian market and will make concessions, believes
expert.

The top management of Kaspersky Lab, in turn, is satisfied with the decision taken by the FAS. “Abuse of large corporations and the transfer of their market power, with negative effects on
competition in adjacent markets must be suppressed, ”the media leadership is quoted as saying. The company expressed the hope that Apple will correct its policy towards competitors, no longer
will create privileged conditions for its applications and obstruct other companies.

Apple considers the FAS decision unfair – the company plans to file an appeal. As the company commented, the recommendations for parental control apps were
updated because the technologies they use can pose threats to user security and privacy. Parental control apps of all those developers
that use Mobile Device Management technology in accordance with the new standards have been approved and are now available in the App Store. ” The very same Kaspersky Lab,
the initiator of the complaint to the FAS, worked with Apple to ensure that its application meets all the new requirements. At the moment, according to the company, Kaspersky Lab is placing in the App Store
13 of their applications, and the number of updates released for them is already in the hundreds.

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