25 Apr 2023 13:51

Bill on installing third-party marketplace apps on Apple devices ready - Russian minister

MOSCOW. April 25 (Interfax) - The Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media has drafted a bill similar to the European Digital Markets Act (DMA), which compels Apple to allow the installation of third-party marketplace apps on its devices, Minister Maksut Shadayev said.

"Should we choose a standard procedure, [the bill's submission] will not happen until the autumn session. But if consultations, including those with the State Duma, prove that the issue is a pressing one and deputies are interested in supporting us, then we will try to do it as fast as we can," Shadayev told reporters on Tuesday.

The bill "is ready," Shadayev said. "The Digital Development Ministry is considering the swiftest path to its enactment. Hopefully, [submission to the State Duma] might happen during the spring session," he said.

The ministry hopes that Apple will agree to comply with the new law, considering that "Apple is an honest company and has even paid a fine, which is currently very difficult to do," Shadayev said. "They needed authorization from the OFAC [the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the U.S. Department of the Treasury] to pay this fine. Apple went through every procedure and paid the fine [imposed by Russia's Federal Anti-Monopoly Service] to the Russian budget. I see this as a proof of the company's readiness to comply with Russian legislation in good faith, and to keep working in this market," he said.

Unlike Google, Apple "continues to work in our market, using the payment options provided by telecom operators, and to supply us with applications," Shadayev said.

The EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA) took effect on November 1, 2022, to enhance control over major IT companies, which are compelled to provide third-party companies and developers with access to their platforms. Non-compliance with the law is penalized with fines of up to 20% of the company's annual turnover. The law will largely apply from May 2024, while some of its provisions will not be mandatory until then.

Shadayev told reporters in mid-December 2022 that the ministry was working on a bill similar to the DMA to compel Apple to allow installation of third-party marketplace apps on its devices. Submission of the bill to the State Duma was planned for the first quarter of this year.