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FAS, Apple not discussing settlement so far — watchdog

December 08, 2016, 19:43 UTC+3

FAS earlier launched an inspection regarding several Russian electronics retailers due to suspicions of price-fixing agreement in sales of the latest iPhone models

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MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) is not discussing a settlement with Apple in the case of smartphones prices coordination because no such request has been sent by Apple by now, head of the antimonopoly regulator Igor Artemyev told reporters on Thursday.

"No such request so far," the official said responding to the question whether a settlement with Apple is discussed.

The antimonopoly authority is traditionally open for cooperation, Artemyev said. "We are ready for talks; we are always ready for peaceful resolution with everyone," he added. Google, for example, sent such a request earlier, the official said.

FAS earlier launched an inspection regarding several Russian electronics retailers due to suspicions of price-fixing agreement in sales of the latest iPhone models. Current iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus prices set by retailers are slightly different against each other and those listed in the Apple’s press release dated September 28, 2015, which gives reasons to believe that retailers did not determine iPhone prices independently, FAS press service said.

The antitrust watchdog requested information from 16 retailers, among them Euroset, Eldorado, Svyaznoy, re:Store, Ozon.ru, Citilink, Media-Markt, Mobiland, Megafon and Vimpelcom (Beeline brand), as well as the official online Apple store.

The investigation revealed that the majority of resellers had set similar prices for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus since the start of their official sales in Russia and maintained them for a certain period of time, FAS said. Similar situation was revealed with other iPhone models.

In particular, the regulator questioned Apple’s iPhone 7 pricing. Sales of this model in Russia started on September 23. In late October, the FAS announced the start of checks regarding the price of the latest model that will last for one month. Head of FAs Igor Artemyev said that of the situation with prices for iPhone 7 is same as with previous models that will be regarded as aggravating circumstances when making a decision on the penalty.

Apple denied accusations saying it does not force iPhone prices on retail networks. Resellers set their own prices for Apple products both in Russia and around the world, the company said.

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