Fedot Tumusov, a member of the Russian State Duma, has proposed a law that would force Apple to cut app store commission fees down from 30% to 20%. The law would require that a third of the app store commission be paid to the Russian government as part of a fund to train IT specialists.
In response, Luca Bertoletti, senior European affairs manager at the Consumer Choice Center (a “global grassroots movement for consumer choice”), said the Russian government’s policy would be a significant step back towards the socialist economy that would discourage competition, and, in the end, drive Apple out of Russia thereby hurting Russian consumers.
“Forcibly lowering the commission would be an unnecessary direct intervention into the market. In an attempt to make it easier for IT developers to bring products to consumers, the Russian government will reduce Apple’s incentive to provide the platform through which it’s done,” he said.. The widely-spread anti-Apple sentiment among Russian politicians is no reason to support a policy that will be costly and detrimental to consumer choice.”
Maria Chaplia, European Affairs associate at the Consumer Choice Center, added this statement: What makes the proposed law even more shocking is the suggested obligation to collect part of Apple’s revenue to fund IT training. It is not the role of the Russian government to pick winners and losers. The IT sector is, of course, important, but putting these specialists on the pedestal while turning a blind eye to millions of Apple fans in Russia is shortsighted.
“Russia is far from being a champion of individual freedom and Tumusov’s motion will only worsen the country’s global standing. Is a cold war with an American company what Russia really needs now? Instead, the Russian government should focus on expanding freedom and letting the economy unfold at its own pace.”