Russia To Coerce Apple Into Reducing App Store Commission To 20%

Last month, Apple was found guilty in a Russian anti-trust investigation over the handling of third-party parental control apps. In a different yet related development, a new bill has been submitted to the lower Russian Parliament to reduce Apple’s App Store commission to 20% as well as require it to allow third-party App Stores.

The Russian Parliament is soon to vote on the same; whether companies like Apple and Google’s commission from app sales should be limited or not, Reuters reported.

The bill, submitted to Russia’s lower house of parliament by lawmaker Fedot Tumusov, stipulates that commissions on the sale of applications be capped at 20%. Apple currently collects a 30% commission on sales in its App Store.

The bill not only focuses on lowering the commission but would also require companies like Apple to “pay a third of their commissions to a special training fund for IT specialists on a quarterly basis.”

Apple’s 30% App Store commission has made news many times, especially this year, regarding antitrust discussions. Another area of concern particularly for developers has been the control Apple has over them and how apps are approved through its App Store review process.

As Epic Games has been trying to do through its lawsuit against Apple already, the bill will also force Apple and Google to allow third-party app stores. Tumusov shared on social media:

In recent weeks, the conflict between developers and owners of the so-called “marketplaces”, that is, application stores, has only grown. Apple’s conflict with Epic Games, Facebook’s attempt to inform users about Apple’s imputed tax – all of this led me to believe that the problem could be resolved through legislation.

And it’s quite simple: to oblige the current monopolists to allow the installation of third-party app stores on mobile devices, and along the way to reduce the size of the commission to at least 20% (and introduce contributions to the fund to support developers)

If approved, the bill could be revolutionary as many countries, companies, and developers around the world are scrutinizing Apple over anti-trust concerns, mostly centered around its App Store rules. The 30% Apple Store commission has been questioned too many times this year while Apple’s response is always about 30% being a market norm.

Apple has appealed the verdict for the Russian ruling that the company acted anti-competitively regarding third-party parental control apps. The final outcome is awaited.

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