Apple Slapped With $12M Fine In Russia Over Anti-Competitive Practices – Report

Apple (AAPL) has been hit with a $12 million fine in Russia for allegedly abusing its dominant market position in the mobile application market. According to Reuters, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) maintains that the distribution of apps through the iOS operating system gives the tech giant’s products an unfair advantage.

Reuters reports that FAS imposed a turnover fine of $12 million on Apple for violating Russia’s anti-monopoly legislation. However, the tech giant has refuted the claims, stating it will appeal the FAS ruling.

Last year, the FAS determined that the US company abused its dominant market position by rejecting third-party apps. According to Reuters, the agency directed the iPhone maker to remove all provisions that gave it the right to reject third-party apps in its App Store.

Reuters reports that the directive followed a complaint by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, whose new version of the Safe Kids application was rejected by Apple. “We worked with Kaspersky to get their app in compliance with rules that were put in place to protect children,” Apple said in a statement. “They now have 13 apps on the App Store and we have processed hundreds of updates for them”.

Apple joins a growing number of western companies whose operations in Russia have come under scrutiny in recent months. Twitter (TWTR) is one of the companies that have faced off with regulators for allegedly slowing down on deleting content Moscow deemed illegal. (See Apple stock analysis on TipRanks).

Oppenheimer analyst Martin Yang believes Apple will continue to show stronger resistance to competition with its expanding hardware and software ecosystem. The remarks come on the back of the company reporting impressive 2Q 2021 results that affirm growth in the core business.

“We believe longer term, Apple will leverage its tech superiority (Apple Silicon) and vertical integration (chip to cloud service) to distance itself further from competitors in mature as well as emerging market verticals. While near-term growth rates will start to moderate following F2Q21, we are more comfortable in Apple’s longterm positioning,” Yang wrote in a research note to investors.

The analyst has since reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a $160 price target implying 19.87% upside potential to current levels.

Consensus among Wall Street analysts is a Strong Buy based on 19 Buys, 5 Holds, and 1 Sell. The average analyst price target of $159.96 implies 19.84% upside potential to current levels.

AAPL scores a 9 out of 10 on TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, implying it is likely to outperform market expectations.

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