Apple claims that resellers in the country are setting their own price
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has denied about setting prices at which iPhone handsets are being sold at retail in the Russian market, after an investigation was launched by the Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service.
The investigation was launched because of the allegations by a customer who pointed out that iPhone models, both iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, were being sold at the same retail price at not one, not two, but 16 of the biggest retailers in the country. After the Russian FAS launched the investigation, Apple responded with an email comment stating that the company was not involved in price-fixing in the Russian markets and the retailers in the country had been setting their own prices, not unlike any other country where Apple iPhone is sold.
Apple denied obliging the retailers in Russia to respect a fixed price for iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, implying that an accord of sort had been in practice in the country between the retailers to not sell below the pre-determined price. Apple’s comments came after the Russian FAS indicated that it was looking into the possibility of Apple’s alleged involvement in fixing the price for its products, citing the customers’ reports of identical pricing for other iPhone models as well.
In case of FAS finding any involvement on Apple’s part in price-fixing in Russia, it could exercise its power to impose a fine upon the Cupertino company on account of manipulating the market in the country. We will keep you informed of the developments in the case, but for now, it looks like FAS would have to find some solid evidence that would link Apple to the price-fixing.