Last August, Russia opened an investigation into Apple, accusing the company of fixing iPhone prices. Apple responded, denying any involvement in the matter with the retailers. It appears like the Cupertino tech-giant is in trouble again. Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service has found Apple of fixing iPhone prices in the country.
“On March 14, the FAS Russia found Apple Rus guilty of coordinating the economic activities of the Apple iPhone smartphone resellers, which led to the establishment and maintenance of prices for them (violation of Part 5, Article 11 of the Law on Protection of Competition),” the information on the website read.
Apple has been found to instruct 16 retailers in Russia to set prices at a specific amount. If the retailer did otherwise, Apple would contact them and order them to change the price or even risk having the sales agreement permanently terminated.
“The investigation revealed that since the start of official sales in Russia of the Apple iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, most resellers installed the same prices on them as recommended by Apple (Russia) and supported them for about 3 months,” the information on the website further added.
Apple hasn’t commented on the ruling yet.
However, it appears like the company is actively cooperating.
“In the course of the proceedings the Russian subsidiary of Apple actively co-operated with the FAS,” said FAS head Andrey Tsarikovsky. “The company has adopted the necessary measures to eliminate violations of the law and is pursuing a policy to prevent similar violations in the future.”
Apple has about 3 months to contest the decision. It’s unclear what sort of punishment Apple could face for its price-fixing in Russia....