Home Technology Regulation Apple found guilty of iPhone price-fixing in Russia

Apple found guilty of iPhone price-fixing in Russia

An investigation by Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has found that Apple's Russian subsidiary ordered retailers to set prices of the iPhone 5 and 6, an outcome that could lead to fines being levied on Apple.

The company had told 16 retailers in the country to keep prices at a certain level and communicated with them if products were being sold at "inappropriate" prices, according to a report in the Financial Times.

According to the FAS report on the price fixing, it harboured a suspicion that Apple would terminate agreements with resellers if the price guidelines issued by the Cupertino-based company were not heeded.

It said its investigations showed that from the time sales commenced in Russia of the iPhone 5s, 5c, 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus, a majority of retailers had fixed prices for these models that were recommended by Apple's Russian subsidiary and supported them for about three months.

The FAS further said that at the time, Apple Russia monitored prices for these iPhone models in retail outlets and online store and, if it found "inappropriate" prices, then it got in touch with the resellers in question and asked them to change their prices.

The deputy head of FAS, Andrey Tsarikovsky, Russian investigating agency said Apple's Russian subsidiary had co-operated with the investigation and had now put in place processes to avoid these violations of consumer law.

The FAS said the investigation had begun after a consumer reported that the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were selling at the same price at 16 major resellers: MTS, M. Video, Beeline, Eldorado, Euroset , OZON, re: Store, Messenger, Megafon, Yulmart, Media Markt, Citylink, Holodilnik.ru, DNS, ION (know-how), and Technosila.

iTWire has contacted Apple for comment.  


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.