Russia finds Apple guilty of iPhone price-fixing

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Apple may face stiff fines in Russia.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A federal agency in Russia has ruled that Apple is guilty of fixing the price of the iPhone with third-party resellers and could face huge fines.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service revealed today that its investigation into Apple found that the company’s local subsidiary illegally coordinated the cost of iPhones and prevented sellers from offering discounts.

FAS discovered that price fixing schemes were in place for the official sales of the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The agency did not find any evidence of price fixing with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Investigations into Apple revealed that sellers who offered discounted iPhones would received emails from Apple asking for the price to be changed. Retailers that failed to adjust the price were then threatened with having their contract terminated.

In a statement on the findings, FAS says that Apple was cooperative with the investigation and worked with the agency to comply with anti-monopoly laws in Russia.

“[Apple] has adopted the necessary measures to eliminate violations of the law and pursuing a policy to prevent similar violations in the future, said Deputy Head of FAS, Andrey Tsarikovsky. “The company developed a detailed antitrust compliance, organized training of employees of the Russian antimonopoly legislation norms.”

Fines could be levied against Apple as punishment but it’s unclear how much money the company will have to shell out. Russia could demand up to 15% of all sales from the country.

Apple declined to respond to requests for comment. The company has three months to appeal the ruling.