Russian antitrust agency complains to Apple over users' limited payment services

Russia’s antitrust agency said it had written to Apple, asking the U.S. tech giant to explain why Russian users do not have access to full functionality of banking and payment services

April 04, 2024 05:44 pm | Updated 05:44 pm IST - LONDON

Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has fined Apple around $26 million in the last two years.

Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has fined Apple around $26 million in the last two years. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Russia's antitrust agency on Thursday said it had written to Apple, asking the U.S. tech giant to explain why Russian users of Apple devices do not have access to full functionality of banking and payment services.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside U.S. business hours.

Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has fined Apple around $26 million in the last two years related to what it described as Apple's abuse of its dominant position concerning the mobile apps market and in-app payments.

Apple has previously "respectfully disagreed" with a FAS ruling that Apple's distribution of apps through its iOS operating system gave its own products a competitive advantage.

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The FAS said most Russian banks had been removed from the App Store and that Apple was not letting users install apps from anywhere but the App Store, making it impossible for Russian banks and contactless services to function.

"The company's actions contain signs of violation of antimonopoly legislation," the FAS said in a statement. "The service sent a letter to the company about the need to submit a detailed, motivated position on this issue to the agency."

Apple last month made a major concession in its battle to protect the dominance of its App Store on iPhones and other devices in Europe, saying developers would be free to distribute their apps directly to consumers. The changes were made to comply with the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA).

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