FAS made a decision: a Russian subsidiary of “Apple” coordinated iPhone prices
On 14 March, FAS found that “Apple Rus” Ltd. had coordinated economic activity of Apple iPhone Smartphone resellers that resulted in fixing and marinating prices for them (in breach of Part 5 Article 11 of the Federal Law “On Protection of Competition”)
The case against foreign respondents – “Apple Holding B.V.”, “Apple Sales Ireland”, “Apple Operations International” and “Apple Inc.” is terminated due to absence of violations of Russian antimonopoly law in their actions.
The investigation started upon a statement from an individual with information about fixing the same prices for Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus that came to the Russian market on 9 October 2015: 16 main resellers - “MTS”, “M.Video”, “Beeline”, “Eldorado”, “Evroset”, “OZON”, “re:Store”, “Svyaznoi”, Мегафон,
Yulmart”, “Media Market”, “Citylink”, “Kholodil’nik.ru”, “DNS”, “ION” (Know-How), “Technosila”.
The investigation showed that from the start of official sales of the Apple iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models in Russia, most of resellers fixed the same prices for the products, as recommended by “Apple Rus” Ltd., and maintained them for approximately three months.
At the same time, “Apple Rus” monitoredretail prices for Apple iPhone smartphones, fixed by resellers for online-stored and retail outlets, and if “improper” prices wee fixed, the Russian daughter company of “Apple” would mail electronic letters to resellers asking them to change the prices. Observing the recommended retail prices could have been determined by provisions of the contracts between “Apple Rus” and resellers that “Apple Rus” can terminate at any moment without explaining the reasons.
Stats-Secretary, Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Tsarikovsky pointed out: “In the course of the case investigation “Apple” actively cooperated with FAS. The company has undertaken the necessary measures to eliminate the violations of the law and is pursuing the policy of preventing such violations in the future: it is devising a detailed corporate antimonopoly compliance, and training of its employees on the norms of the antimonopoly law in Russia is being arranged”.