Apple's App Store policies again under fire as Kaspersky Lab files Russian antitrust compl...

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Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab on Tuesday filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with its home country's Federal Antimonopoly Service, alleging the tech giant's tight control of the iOS App Store amounts to monopoly power.

Screen TimeApple reportedly forced Kaspersky to remove elements of its "Safe Kids" app after announcing Screen Time in iOS 12.


Outlined in a post to its official blog, Kasperky's FAS filing relates to Apple's strict App Store policies, guidelines the iPhone maker allegedly leveraged to hinder distribution of an app that competed with features offered in iOS 12's Screen Time service.

According to Kaspersky, Apple blocked the firm's eponymous "Safe Kids" app from distribution on the App Store on grounds that it violated paragraph 2.5.1 of the App Store Review Guidelines. Listed under the broader "Software Requirements" category, section 2.5.1 calls for apps to use only public APIs and run on the currently shipping operating system.

"Apps should use APIs and frameworks for their intended purposes and indicate that integration in their app description," Apple's guidelines read.

Specifically, Apple took issue with Kaspersky's use of configuration profiles governing app control and Safari browser blocking. The tools allowed Kaspersky to restrict app usage based on App Store age restrictions and hide all installed web browsers save for a secure version built into the Kaspersky Safe Kids app.

Apple's decision arrived shortly after Screen Time was announced at WWDC 2018, Kaspersky said, adding that Kaspersky Safe Kids had passed through the App Store review process unscathed for nearly three years.

"From our point of view, Apple appears to be using its position as platform owner and supervisor of the sole channel for delivering apps to users of the platform to dictate terms and prevent other developers from operating on equal terms with it," Kaspersky said. "As a result of the new rules, developers of parental control apps may lose some of their users and experience financial impact. Most important, however, it is the users who will suffer as they miss out on some critical security features. The market for parental control apps will head toward a monopoly and, consequently, stagnation."

Apple's management of the App Store is under scrutiny by a number of governmental antitrust agencies around the world. Earlier this month, Spotify again leveled claims of monopolistic practices through a complaint filed with the European Commission. The streaming giant argues Apple creates artificial barriers to limit third-party services that compete with first-party products like Apple Music.

Apple issued a response to Spotify's claims last week, saying the complaint is financially motivated.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    There’s a laugh. Probably be a good idea to stop selling to Russia altogether if this nonsense is allowed.
    bshankrob53jbdragondblanch369magman1979MacPro
  • Reply 2 of 59
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,429member
    It sounds like they were using undocumented "bypass" methods to access the data they needed for their app to function as designed, and if so, that is a violation of the rules. I personally don't like the idea of a third-party app modifying the setup of my system. I don't trust that. It's exactly why I don't use Android. I want any system modifications to be vetted by Apple and passed through public (to developer) APIs.

    Their app "hid" all installed browsers? Where did they go? How did they get hidden? Sorry, that type of functionality does not belong in a third-party app. What happens if I uninstalled their app? How would I get the browser apps to re-appear again? Messy.

    Kasperky can complain all they want, but they were dabbling in an area of system control that does not belong in a third-party app.


    n2itivguyapplesnorangesmacseekerjcs2305racerhomie3leavingthebiggbeowulfschmidtcornchipjbdragonbonobob
  • Reply 3 of 59
    Maybe Apple should buy Android and tell developers they can do anything they want at all on it.
    pigybankMisterKitravnorodomcornchipurahara
  • Reply 4 of 59
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,611member
    Another plaintiff complaining that Apple monopolizing the market consisting of Apple products.
    pigybankn2itivguyracerhomie3krreagan2urahara
  • Reply 5 of 59
    pigybankpigybank Posts: 158member
    Yawn.  Big fat yawn. 
  • Reply 6 of 59
    bshankbshank Posts: 160member
    Really? Is Kapernsky ready to cost share development and management of iOS? And also pay into a share of Apple’s previous capital investment into iOS? Sounds like they would like to have open access to the operating system. What are these companies gonna want next? Entitlement to the silicon Apple designs?
    edited March 19
  • Reply 7 of 59
    McDonald's has a monopoly over the products it sells in its stores! Oh no!

    The rules are the same for everyone, they just want to bypass what makes iOS secure to install their Russian spyware.

    Cry to Trump, he's the only one who listens to Putin's orders.
    n2itivguybshankelectrosoftjbdragonviclauyycdarren mccoyrainmakerigmxcornchipmagman1979
  • Reply 8 of 59
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,347member
    Is this the same company that writes viruses and trojans, spreads them and then sells their software to remove what they made?
    commentzillajcs2305jbdragonmagman1979
  • Reply 9 of 59
    danoxdanox Posts: 382member
    Apple is falling down (lack of focus) on the things that really count why is Kapernsky even in the Apple store? Apple is too busy trying to make low margin Hollywood Video's while Rome burns.
    edited March 19
  • Reply 10 of 59
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,114member
    Apps are guests of the OS, not peers.  If I stay in a hotel I expect to follow the rules.  If I stay at a hotel years later  and the rules have changed I get to leave if I don’t like them.
    bshank
  • Reply 11 of 59
    There has to be a system of checks and balances. The idea that Apple can do whatever it wants with its own platform isn’t good enough. That is just a copout and a way to circumvent fairness, openness, and possibly even the law. 

    If you want to have a platform and pretend to make it available to everyone, it has to actually be available to everyone, without various anti competitive practices that prevent any one particular company or group or political ideology from exposure. Let the market handle it, not the whims of a few people in Cupertino. 
    edited March 19 gc_uk
  • Reply 12 of 59
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,657member
    There has to be a system of checks and balances. The idea that Apple can do whatever it wants with its own platform isn’t good enough. That is just a copout and a way to circumvent fairness, openness, and possibly even the law. 

    If you want to have a platform and pretend to make it available to everyone, it has to actually be available to everyone, without various anti competitive practices that prevent any one particular company or group or political ideology from exposure. Let the market handle it, not the whims of a few people in Cupertino. 
    The market is handling it. Android is "winning", remember? Don't like Apple rules, don't play in their yard. 
    bshankdanhcornchipmld53amagman1979
  • Reply 13 of 59
    I didn't know Kapernsky Lab is from Russia. I used to get nagged from Parallel Desktop to buy Kapernsky Lab for protection. Glad I didn't get it.
    bshankSpamSandwichmagman1979
  • Reply 14 of 59
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,585member
    There has to be a system of checks and balances. The idea that Apple can do whatever it wants with its own platform isn’t good enough. That is just a copout and a way to circumvent fairness, openness, and possibly even the law. 

    If you want to have a platform and pretend to make it available to everyone, it has to actually be available to everyone, without various anti competitive practices that prevent any one particular company or group or political ideology from exposure. Let the market handle it, not the whims of a few people in Cupertino. 
    What bullshit! If you don’t like the policies, just get android / develop for android. Apple owns the OS and the App Store so you need to play by their rules. They didn’t have to let any third party apps on their system! And they have lots of apps in their store that compete with their own so that argument doesn’t hold water. 
    danhjbdragonmagman1979
  • Reply 15 of 59
    gc_ukgc_uk Posts: 21member
    McDonald's has a monopoly over the products it sells in its stores! Oh no!
    If only Apple apps were available in the App Store, this would be a reasonable analogy. 

    The rules are the same for everyone, they just want to bypass what makes iOS secure to install their Russian spyware.

    But that isn’t the case. Third party developers have to play by the rules and not use custom APIs or undocumented calls, restrictions which Apple don’t have to stick to. 

    This is analogous to LEGO creating bricks and allowing third parties to create their own designs based on the available bricks, but they can NEVER make their own bricks, or use LEGO’s secret bricks. A third party would never be able to create anything that was greater than something LEGO could design because only they control what bricks are available. 
    deminsd78Bandit
  • Reply 16 of 59
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 295member
    There has to be a system of checks and balances. The idea that Apple can do whatever it wants with its own platform isn’t good enough. That is just a copout and a way to circumvent fairness, openness, and possibly even the law. 

    If you want to have a platform and pretend to make it available to everyone, it has to actually be available to everyone, without various anti competitive practices that prevent any one particular company or group or political ideology from exposure. Let the market handle it, not the whims of a few people in Cupertino. 
    Go to Play store if you don’t like Apps store policies, you have a choice 
    jbdragon
  • Reply 17 of 59
    gc_ukgc_uk Posts: 21member
    jungmark said:

    The market is handling it. Android is "winning", remember? Don't like Apple rules, don't play in their yard. 
    ... and Apple have to play in the yard of the law. 
    deminsd
  • Reply 18 of 59
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    gc_uk said:
    McDonald's has a monopoly over the products it sells in its stores! Oh no!
    If only Apple apps were available in the App Store, this would be a reasonable analogy. 

    The rules are the same for everyone, they just want to bypass what makes iOS secure to install their Russian spyware.

    But that isn’t the case. Third party developers have to play by the rules and not use custom APIs or undocumented calls, restrictions which Apple don’t have to stick to. 

    This is analogous to LEGO creating bricks and allowing third parties to create their own designs based on the available bricks, but they can NEVER make their own bricks, or use LEGO’s secret bricks. A third party would never be able to create anything that was greater than something LEGO could design because only they control what bricks are available. 
    Oh, no! Walmart has a monopoly over the products it sells in their stores!
    rainmakerjbdragonmagman1979commentzilla
  • Reply 19 of 59
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,034member
    gc_uk said:
    jungmark said:

    The market is handling it. Android is "winning", remember? Don't like Apple rules, don't play in their yard. 
    ... and Apple have to play in the yard of the law. 
    Apple is not breaking any law.

    magman1979commentzilla
  • Reply 20 of 59
    Where the fuck is the troll generator and how do I destroy it? I can't believe the number of trolls that keep turning up here.
    cornchipmagman1979
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