Anton Gorelkin, member of Russia’s State Duma Committee on Information Policy, asked Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation to look into yet another policy of Apple’s App Store.
According to Gorelkin, he received multiple complaints from Russian developers that Apple does not allow them to create a developer account in the App Store. Without it, it’s impossible to publish an app in the store.
What’s the problem?
To verify the identity, Apple asks for the billing address of the bank that the developer intends to use to pay for the account. However, the data format provided by Russian banks does not meet Apple’s requirements, so it fails to connect to the system. According to Gorelkin, in the United States and China, developers can confirm their identity via popular payment systems. This option is not available to Russian companies. “In fact, Apple is pursuing a discriminatory policy based on the citizenship of developers for a number of countries, including Russia,” the lawmaker said.
Gorelkin said that these restrictions force developers to buy accounts on the black market that are registered in China and the United States. They cost from 300 to 500 dollars.
The Federal Antimonopoly Service confirmed it has received the request from Gorelkin and will look into it.
This is not the first time that Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service has questioned the App Store’s policies. In early August 2020, the antitrust service asked Apple to remove the clause from the App Store rules that allows it to reject applications for any reason. Moreover, Russia’s State Duma is reviewing a bill that calls for the 20% commission on Apple and Google, as well as allowing third-party stores on iOS and Android.