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The tech giant says apps were removed due to the use of highly invasive software.

Apple has refuted claims that the company has removed parental control applications from the App Store to stop them competing with homegrown monitoring services.

A piece published by the New York Times last week said that Apple had removed or, at least, restricted a total of 11 out of the 17 most popular screen time and parental control apps in the App Store which are used to monitor time spent on iPhones and used by parents to keep an eye on what content their children are accessing.

"In some cases, Apple forced companies to remove features that allowed parents to control their children's devices or that blocked children's access to certain apps and adult content," the NYT reported. "In other cases, it simply pulled the apps from its App Store."

The report added that many app makers were forced to close due to the clampdown, and one top parental control app, OurPact, was "yanked with no warning" in February this year. The app in question had been downloaded over three million times.

Shortly after announcing Screen Time and usage limit tools in iOS 12 in September, the report says, Apple began spiking similar tools hosted by the App Store. The app makers impacted by the removals suggested that they were eradicated or restricted for competitive reasons.

Apple, however, has refuted the report.