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Russia’s anti-trust watchdog may launch case against LG over price-fixing

May 18, 12:54 UTC+3 ST.PETERSBURG
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ST.PETERSBURG, May 18. /TASS/. The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) suspects LG of fixing prices of smartphones in Russia, Deputy Head of FAS Andrei Tsarikovsky told TASS on Thursday.

"LG case is similar (to Apple - TASS), Samsung is clear," he said.

According to Tsarikovsky, FAS is likely to file a case against the company in the near future.

FAS anti-cartel department's head Andrey Tenishev told TASS that the regulator has competed an inspection of the company and will soon make a decision whether to initiate a case. He added that following an inspection of Phillips it was decided to transfer the case to the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC). "Since this is a trans-border market the case is being transferred to the EEC," he said.

The watchdog 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.

The Commission of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russia has found Apple Rus responsible for fixing prices for a number of iPhone models of the fifth and sixth series, Deputy Head of the regulator Andrei Tsarikovsky said on March 14 during the consideration of the case.

In particular, the watchdog stated violations in respect of smartphones iPhone 5s, 5c, 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus.

Apple denied claims 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. However, the US corporation cooperated with FAS later, recognized and closed out the violation.

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