Russia fines App Store and EU prepares lawsuits

App Store is the most profitable digital app store on the planet. Not only does it move multimillion-dollar business figures, but Apple takes advantage of it like no other to give feedback on the sale of its mobile devices.

It is the most profitable, but also the most controversial. Apple reviews, approves and decides in advance all the apps that can be included in its store and charges 30% of all revenue, something that many developers consider abusive. Another widespread complaint is that there are no alternatives to this store in the hundreds of devices with active iOS since the jailbreak has lost steam in recent years. In practice, as there are no alternatives, the situation limits the software that a user can run on an iPhone or iPad.

In recent years, complaints and lawsuits against the App Store have accumulated and legislative changes are underway. The Cupertino firm has taken out all the legal and media artillery, aware of what it may entail. The most critical against the operation of this type of stores go further and ask directly to remove the App Store from the Apple group.

App Store: fine in Russia

The Russian government through the federal competition agency has imposed a fine of 906.3 million rubles (10 million euros) on Apple for violate antitrust laws.

The fine concludes the investigation of a request from the Russian cybersecurity company, Kaspersky Lab JSC. The Russian competition authority (FAS) determined that “Apple abuses its dominant position in the distribution of mobile applications through a series of actions that give it a competitive advantage of its own products and at the same time worse distribution conditions for rival products ».

FAS has also directed Apple to “remove from its documentation the provisions that give it the right to reject third-party applications in its tech store for any reason, even if they meet all the requirements«. Apple has disagreed with the decision and has announced that it will appeal it.

App Store: demand in the EU

The European Commission will file charges against Apple this week for violating the competition laws of the European Union, according to the Financial Times.

The demand has to do with a complaint that Spotify presented in 2019 before the European Commission against the operation and rules of the App Store. According to the music service provider, they “deliberately limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of user experience.”

Spotify accuses Apple of «act as player and referee to deliberately harm other application developers. The firm states that Apple’s 30% commission on ‌‌App Store‌‌ purchases, including in-app subscriptions, forces the music streaming service to charge existing subscribers $ 12.99 per month, more than its price.

Spotify argues that this gives Apple an unfair advantage because it cannot compete with the price of the Apple Music service, which is $ 9.99. Apple has repeatedly denied allegations of anti-competitive behavior, claiming at the time that its rival was “using its financial motivations in deceptive rhetoric.”

The Spotify antitrust case is one of several opened by the European Commission over Apple’s business practices. It is not yet known what they might entail, but Apple could be forced to pay a fine or have to make changes to the business model of ‌‌App Store‌‌ in Europe to encourage greater competition that does not exist today for the reasons mentioned. There are many pending lawsuits. The most mediatic is Epic and Fortnite.