Kaspersky files complaint against Apple’s ‘monopolistic’ App Store practices
MOSCOW: Security outfit Kaspersky Lab has filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in Russia, less than a week after Spotify launched an attack on the firm’s “monopolistic” App Store rules.
Kaspersky’s beef relates to iOS 12’s ‘Screen Time’ feature, which helps parents monitor what their kids were doing on their iOS devices.
The firm claims that, following the tool’s introduction, Apple blocked its ‘Safe Kids’ app from the App Store on the grounds that it violated paragraph 2.5.1 of the App Store Review Guidelines. This forced Kaspersky to remove two feature from its parental control software – app control and Safari browser blocking – which it claims are “essential” to the Safe Kids app.
The company alleges that Apple did so to eliminate competition for its own Screen Time feature, and argues that Apple is using its position as a “platform owner and supervisor” of the App Store to prevent other developers from operating on equal terms as itself.
“The change in Apple’s policy toward our app (as well as toward every other developer of parental control software), notably came on the heels of the Cupertino-based company announcing its own Screen Time feature as part of iOS 12,” Kaspersky Lab said in a blog post on Tuesday.
“By setting its own rules for that channel, [Apple] extends its power in the market over other, adjacent markets: for example, the parental control software market, where it has only just become a player.
“The market for parental control apps will head toward a monopoly and, consequently, stagnation.”
Kaspersky notes that it isn’t the only developer to be affected; AdGuard and Kidsloxalso found themselves in similar situations.
“We very much hope that we will also be able to continue our winning relationship with Apple, and that requires us to create an environment where Kaspersky Lab and other companies compete on equal footing,” the firm concludes.
This isn’t the first time Kaspersky has taken aim at a big-name tech firm. Back in November 2016, the company filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft, accusing the firm of anti-competitive practices and putting customers in danger with its attitudes towards third-party antivirus protection.