Apple pays $13.7 million Russian fine, antitrust agency says

MOSCOW (Reuters) -U.S. tech giant Apple has paid a Russian fine of 1.2 billion roubles ($13.65 million), imposed over the company’s alleged abuse of its dominant market position concerning in-app payments, Russia’s FAS antitrust agency said on Monday.

Apple, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday, 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 Federal Antimonopoly Service said Apple had paid the fine on Jan. 19 and that the funds had been transferred to Russia’s federal budget.

In February 2023, the FAS said Apple had paid an around $12.1-million fine in another antitrust case alleging Apple’s abuse of its dominance in the mobile apps market.

Russia has been at loggerheads with foreign technology companies for several years, particularly over what Moscow deems unlawful content and a failure to store user data locally, in simmering disputes that intensified after Russia despatched troops to Ukraine in February 2022.

Apple paused all product sales in Russia soon after the conflict in Ukraine began and limited its Apple Pay service in Russia.

($1 = 87.8990 roubles)

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Alexander Marrow; editing by Jason Neely and Tomasz Janowski)