The Financial Times reports that Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service has ruled that Apple had illegally ordered retailers to fix prices of the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 models. The Cupertino, California-based company purportedly instructed 16 retailers in Russia to set the prices at a certain amount and if a retailer was found to be selling the iPhone at an “unsuitable” price, Apple would contact them and order them to change the price or risk having the sales agreement 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.
“At the same time, Apple Russia monitored retail prices for Apple iPhone smartphones installed by resellers in online stores and retail outlets, and, in caseof setting ‘unsuitable’ prices, the Russian subsidiary Apple sent emails to resellers with a request to change them. Also, compliance with recommended retail prices by resellers could be due to the provisions of contracts between Apple Russia and resellers.”
The anti-monopoly body announced in August 2016 that it had opened its case after an appeal from a citizen with information that identical prices had been set for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models, which appeared in Russia in October 2015, at 16 major resellers.
An Federal Anti-Monopoly Service added that an investigation had showed that resellers had set identical prices and kept them at that level for a certain time period, including for other models.
“Resellers set their own prices for the Apple products they sell in Russia and around the world,” Apple said in a statement to Reuters.