Apple illegally fixed prices of iPhones in Russia, investigation finds

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A seven-month investigation by Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service has found that Apple’s Russian arm illegally fixed prices for certain iPhone models, according to a report from the Financial Times. The FAS found that Apple told 16 retailers to “hold the prices” of these iPhones and that Apple would contact the retailers in the event that the company found their prices “inappropriate.” Apple may have terminated agreements with retailers unwilling to meet those pricing guidelines.

The full report is posted in Russian here; affected phones include the iPhone 5S and 5C, the 6 and 6 Plus, and the 6S and 6S Plus. The prices were fixed for a period of roughly three months.

A penalty has not been set, though the report indicates that it could be as much as 15 percent of Apple’s sales in Russia. The company will have three months to challenge the decision once the full ruling is published later in the month. The investigation and the ruling only apply to Apple’s Russian subsidiary, and the FAS dropped a similar investigation against Apple Inc. and other international subsidiaries “due to lack of evidence.”

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Source:: Arstechnica – Gadgets