Apple pays $13.6 mn fine to Russia

January 23, 2024 | 15:30
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Apple paid a $13.6-million fine to the Russian government over Moscow's claims it abused its dominant position in the mobile app market, the country's competition watchdog said Monday.

The US iPhone-maker halted sales and limited services in Russia shortly after Moscow launched its full-scale military offensive in Ukraine in February 2022.

Apple pays $13.6 mn fine to Russia
Apple pays $13.6 mn fine to Russia, illustration photo/ Source:

Russia's federal anti-monopoly service (FAS) fined Apple 1.2 billion rubles ($13.6 million) in July 2022, saying the company had banned apps from informing customers about the option to make purchases outside its official App Store.

Following a years-long legal battle in the United States, Apple said last week it will begin allowing iPhone app developers to use alternative payment systems, and EU legislation due to come in force will also require Apple to allow payments outside of its ecosystem.

A Russian court last year rejected an appeal by Apple over the fine.

"On 19 January 2024, Apple paid the fine. The funds were transferred to the Russian Federation's budget," Russia's FAS said in a statement on Monday.

Moscow has issued dozens of fines against Western tech companies since it sent troops into Ukraine -- usually over platforms' refusal to delete content that Russia says violates its laws against spreading "false information" or "discrediting the armed forces."

Apple suspended product sales and disabled Apple Pay in Russia days after Moscow ordered its troops into Ukraine. It has also removed the apps of several Russian news outlets and social media platforms from its global App Store.

Russia was already targeting Western tech companies before its Ukraine offensive as part of a drive to reduce the country's reliance on foreign products and software.

Apple paid a 906-million-ruble ($10.3 million) fine to Russia last February, over a case started in 2020 regarding claims it had blocked a competitor's product from being added to its App Store.

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