Apple's Russia antitrust challenge hearing postponed until May

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What you need to know

  • A hearing over an antitrust ruling against Apple in Russia was supposed to call Friday.
  • It has now been postponed until May.
  • Russia has previously told Apple it must make changes to its App Store over antitrust concerns.

A hearing of Apple's challenge to a Russian antitrust ruling against the company has been postponed until May.

As noted by Jacob Parry on Twitter:

The Russian court seeing @Apple's challenge to @fasrussia's order that it amend access conditions to the #appstore has postponed it hearing in the case from today to May 14

The case website simply notes "the court session was postponed until 11:00, 14/5/2021". As Parry notes, Apple is challenging an antitrust ruling against the company over its App Store policies set out in September of 2020. From the ruling:

On August 10, 2020 the FAS Russia completed the consideration of the antimonopoly case against Apple Inc., initiated following the consideration of an application for violation of antimonopoly legislation from Kaspersky Lab (a developer of antivirus programs and parental control applications).The Authority found that in the fall of 2018, after the release of the iOS 12 operating system with the pre-installed Screen time app, Apple Inc. began to restrict the tools and capabilities of third-party parental control applications, as a result of which such applications lost some of the important functionality.At the same time, the pre-installed Screen time app has parental control functionality and uses iOS technology capabilities that are not available to third-party developers.

The ruling goes on to say that Apple's guidelines "contain ambiguous provisions" that mean Apple can reject apps from its App Store even it they meet all of the company's requirements. The report said that "after conducting a thorough investigation of the documentation and technological features of iOS applications and evaluating Apple's actions" the FAS Russia Commission found that Apple had "abused its dominant position in the market for distributing mobile apps on the iOS operating system."

Apple was set to challenge remedies issued in the ruling in the hearing, which will now take place in May. Those provisions include removing the right to reject any third-party app from its App Store if it meets all requirements, and a requirement that Apple " ensure that in-house apps do not take precedence over third-party apps, and that developers of parental control apps can distribute apps to the App Store without loss of the important functionality."

It recently emerged that Apple has agreed to comply with laws stating that certain apps must be pre-installed on devices sold in Russia. That report states that from April, Apple devices, on setup, will offer users a list of apps they might wish to install, with users unticking a check box for software they don't want.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9