Russia could force Apple to reduce its tax on the App Store to 20% but the bill would also cost developers an additional 30% on each applica...
Russia could force Apple to reduce its tax on the App Store to 20% but the bill would also cost developers an additional 30% on each application sale.
A Russian lawmaker introduced a bill Tuesday that would cap Apple's commissions on applications at 20 percent and could force the company to allow third-party applications on its devices, Reuters reported. The bill, submitted by Fedor Tumosov, a member of the Russian State Duma, would have an impact on markets for mobile applications such as Google Play Store and Apple's App Store. The latter platform was accused of anti-competitive behavior by Russian anti-monopoly authorities last month.
Read also :
Russia has a new draft law that could impact its relations with technology giants such as Apple or Google. The law will soon force iOS developers to pay only a 20% commission to their online application stores. This represents a 10% drop from their standard 30% fee. Although not by the same problems, the bill is somehow related to the problem of Epic Games against application stores - Tumosov having referred in a post to the ongoing case opposing the Cupertino giant to the developers of the game Fortnite.
Read also :
According to Reuters, the bill has been submitted to the lower house of the Russian parliament and will be voted on soon to determine whether or not to limit the commission that companies like Apple and Google take from application sales. If the law is passed, IT developers will benefit more from these reduced fees. "Reducing commission and having the ability to offer products to users is a growth opportunity for IT developers," Tumusov wrote on Instagram.
View this post on InstagramИдея этого законопроекта появилась после постов Павла Дурова о фактическом монополизме, существующем на рынке мобильных приложений https://te.legra.ph/Kak-Apple-unichtozhaet-startapy-po-vsemu-miru--i-kak-ehto-mozhno-ostanovit-07-09. Каждый из разработчиков обязан платить Apple 30% от всех доходов за продажи самого приложения или покупки в нем (с Google сходная история) – иначе просто не имеет шанса донести свой продукт. В последние недели конфликт разработчиков и владельцев так называемых «маркетплейсов», то есть магазинов приложений, только нарастал. Конфликт Apple с Epic Games, попытка Facebook сообщить пользователям о вмененном налоге от Apple – все это привело меня к мысли, что проблему можно помочь разрешить законодательно. И довольно просто: обязать нынешних монополистов разрешить установку на мобильные устройства сторонних магазинов приложений, а попутно снизить размер комиссии как минимум до 20% (и ввести отчисления в фонд для поддержки разработчиков) Мне могут возразить, что нельзя вмешиваться в частный бизнес. Я прочитал много дискуссий на эту тему, обсудил все с экспертами и могу ответить: в какой-то момент бизнес становится монополией, или, пользуясь термином Павла Дурова, дуополией Apple и Google. А антимонопольное регулирование еще никто не отменял. Не может быть нормальной ситуация, при которой я не могу установить на свой телефон любую программу, не заплатив компании, создавшей этот телефон. И, очевидно, это понимают во всем мире, обращаясь в суды и парламенты. Снижение комиссии и возможность доносить свои продукты до пользователя – это возможность развития для разработчиков, которые будут работать не «на дядю», а на себя. Я искренне надеюсь, что однажды смогу зайти в магазин приложений, например, Telegram и выбрать там нужную мне программу. А если вам будут говорить, что «теперь мы потеряем айфоны» – не верьте. Тенденция общемировая, и России не пристало отставать от нее. Наоборот: нам нужно защищать своих разработчиков и пользователей, к чему я и стремлюсь. https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4474995?from=main_1
But beyond simply reducing the maximum commission in Russia, the bill, if passed, would also require application vendors to pay one-third of their commissions to a special training fund for IT specialists on a quarterly basis, Reuters reported. So instead of losing 30 percent to Apple, developers would lose 50 percent in total - 20 percent to Apple and 30 percent to this new training fund.
If the bill is passed, there will certainly be a significant influx of money into the training fund, but developers may also choose not to offer their applications on the Russian market in the future. There is little point in 50% of the cost of your application going to other people. Otherwise, the price of applications may increase in Russia to compensate for this change. Developers are already complaining about high prices because of Apple's 30% commission.
Require Apple and Google to allow third-party app stores
While Apple's 30% App Store commission is often cited by developers and antitrust authorities, another important part of the discussion concerns Apple's control over developers and how applications are approved through its App Store review process. Russian legislator Tumusov said on social media that the bill would also require Apple and Google to allow third-party app stores, which is what Epic Games is trying to do with its lawsuit against Apple. He even notes that Epic's lawsuit and Facebook's protests have inspired his bill.
Read also :
According to the Russian-based economic publication Kommersant, some Russian authorities oppose the bill, saying it could set a "dangerous precedent" if the state imposes such regulations. But in his post, Tumosov also dismissed concerns that the decision would force Apple to leave the Russian market, saying that "the trend is global and Russia should not be left behind".
It would be a very remarkable bill if it were approved, as many countries around the world are looking at Apple for antitrust reasons, mainly with regard to its App Store practices. While the 30% App Store Commission has been challenged as recently as the antitrust hearing at the Technology Giants Congress where Apple CEO Tim Cook testified, no legislation has yet been passed to crack down on these commissions.
Apple's response generally includes the fact that the 30% commission is a market standard. And of course, the fact that Apple would have to open its devices to third party stores in Russia would probably give Apple an opportunity to consider the possibility of continuing to do business there. There is no doubt that Apple would appeal such legislation in Russia if it is approved.
The news comes as application developers, including Epic Games, have challenged Apple and Google's right to take a large commission on their sales. Epic Games has challenged the in-app payments in Fortnite (and Google as well), kicking off a massive legal battle that is only at the beginning of what could be a multi-year saga with substantial consequences for the App Store and the distribution of mobile applications in general.
Read also :
Last month, the Russian Antimonopoly Service accused Apple of abusing its dominant position in the mobile application market through its App Store, Reuters reported. A Russian antitrust investigation into the withdrawal of parental control applications that began last year found that Apple had abused its dominant market position by removing them. Things accelerated when Apple issued an official statement on the subject in the spring of 2019, stating that the withdrawals were due to security reasons. Meanwhile, the developers of one of the applications disagreed with Apple, with one of them refuting the company's claim, calling it "misleading.
Read also :
Now, according to Reuters, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has issued a ruling stating that Apple's App Store gives the company an unfair commercial advantage in the digital application economy. It demanded that the company fix its violations. It should also be noted that things are beginning to change at Apple. Since Monday, developers can challenge Apple to find out if their application actually violates one of its guidelines. They can also suggest changes to the App Store guidelines by filling out a form on its online developer portal.
Source : Reuters