Apple pays $12.1 million fine for alleged app market abuse in Russia - Antimonopoly Service

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FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc logo is seen at the entrance to the Apple store, in Brussels

MOSCOW (Reuters) -U.S. tech giant Apple has paid a 906 million rouble ($12.12 million) fine in a Russian antitrust case alleging abuse of its dominance in the mobile apps market, Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) said on Monday.

Apple, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, 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.

The FAS determined in August 2020 that Apple had abused its dominant position, then issued a directive requiring Apple to remove provisions giving it the right to reject third-party apps from its App Store.

That move followed a complaint from cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, which had said a new version of its Safe Kids application had been declined by Apple's operating system.

"Apple has paid a 906 million rouble antitrust fine," the FAS said in a statement on its Telegram channel.

Apple had appealed the decision at various stages, but had been unsuccessful and ultimately complied with the order, the FAS said.

In a separate case, the FAS in January said it had fined Apple around $17.4 million for allegedly forcing Russian developers to use Apple's payment services with the iOS App Store.

Apple paused all product sales in Russia a year ago, after Moscow despatched its armed forces to Ukraine, and limited its Apple Pay service in Russia.

($1 = 74.7265 roubles)

(Reporting by Caleb Davis and Alexander Marrow; Editing by Kevin Liffey)