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Will Apple, Google and Microsoft stay in Russian market?

Such companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and others with diversified business activities almost around the world are also presented in Russian internal market. Except such companies there are also Russian digital companies in Russia, but mostly with foreign owner or stakeholder, i.e. such companies are also in some sense a foreign companies. The most problem in competition with foreign market players in Russian internal market is rough and sometimes unreasonable regulation affecting Russian market players.

But currently the trend of rough regulation turned to the foreign companies. Currently the law forcing Apple and Google to share data with Russian authorities has been signed. This law should protect the choice of Russian consumer and is to ensure many other great benefits for consumers and companies themselves.

But actually the stakeholders believe the law aims to force the Apple, Google and other similar companies to share data, collected from the Russian customers, with Russian authorities. But if foreign citizens would buy gadget in Russia they also can be watched by “big brother”, not quite mandatory – as supposed the customer could delete “tracker” from his device.

But remains one little question – who would be responsible for failures of Russian software installed before the sale? Would the producer of device (phone, tablet etc.) to bear responsibility for stable work of device after mandatory installation of software under the law? Certainly the all risks linked to implementation of the law would bear customers at their personal expenses.

In addition to these interesting questions the Russian Federal Antitrust service has proposed to oblige the developers of devices operational systems (Apple, Google, Microsoft etc.) to bear responsibility for installation of Russian software on the device before their sale. They also can be obliged to ensure total uninstallation of installed applications.

The industry and market professionals believe developers and owners of operational systems would not be comply with such requirement in absence of liability. The federal antitrust service (FAS) has even drafted entire conception to the implementation of hew anti-Apple & Google law. This conception extends the law to phones, tablets, computers and smart tv.

According to the FAS’s wish, it should be enshrined in law that the Apple, Google or Microsoft must ensure the opportunity for the customer to completely delete pre-installed software on device, even those included in operational system, if such deleting would not harm the stable work of device. The FAS would ask the government to draft relevant law in order to implement its conception in practice.

This year the device, offered for sale in Russia, must contain Russian maps and provide search function. Next year these devices must contain antivirus, state service application, messengers and social networks. The producers of device are liable for compliance with this requirement, the distributors and retailers could help producer.

The Apple devices mostly have pre-installed software produced by the Apple. The stake holders believe the companies like Apple or Google wouldn’t agree to comply with such FAS’ requirements. Currently the user is not able to delete Apple’s applications pre-installed before the sale. Apple, as producer, guarantees the customer stable work of device.

If anyone else at the pre-sale preparation would add in Apple’s operational system anything new, what could put the stability of system in danger would the Apple to shift liability to the distributor or retailer and refuse to bear responsibility for stable work of device?

Some stakeholders believe the new FAS’s conception is good for competition among providers of applications; other stakeholders believe deletion of pre-installed software could violate customers’ rights. Anyway, some developers believe the Google has nothing to worrying about. It is not so complicated for customer to delete from Android any application he does not like or want; could it mean that Google is in better position?

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