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Russian competition watchdog finds Apple guilty of antitrust abuse

Kaspersky, a Russian antivirus software maker, alleged that Apple forced it to remove features from a Screen Time competitor.

The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service says Apple abused its dominance in the app marketplace.
Angela Lang/CNET

Russia's competition regulator on Monday found that Apple abused its power over iOS apps because iPhone and iPad owners must install them from Apple's App Store. It comes weeks after Apple CEO Tim Cook defended the company's policies in a US congressional hearing.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service investigated Apple's control of apps after Russian antivirus software maker Kaspersky filed a complaint in March 2019, as previously reported by CNET sister site ZDNet

Kaspersky alleged that it was forced to remove features like app control and Safari browser blocking from its Safe Kids iOS app to reduce its ability to compete with Apple's own usage-monitoring Screen Time feature.

"Since October 2018, Apple implemented consistent policy on restricting the tools and capabilities for developing parental control applications," the Federal Antimonopoly Service said in a release. That led to the third-party developers' applications losing functionality, the FAS added. 

In June, the European Competition Commission opened an antitrust probe into the App Store following music streaming service Spotify's complaint about the fees Apple charges companies when people make in-app purchases. 

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.