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Russian antimonopoly watchdog refuses to initiate case on iPhone X prices

November 20, 2017, 16:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier the antimonopoly watchdog has found Apple Rus guilty of coordinating prices for iPhone 5s, 5c, 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus

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MOSCOW, November 20. /TASS/. The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) checked prices for iPhone X in Russia and found no signs of violation of the antimonopoly legislation. The Service told TASS it refused to initiate an antimonopoly case.

"FAS Russia checked the arguments set out in the citizen's complaint about a possible violation of the antimonopoly legislation in regard to coordination of prices for Apple iPhone X 256 GB," FAS press service noted.

FAS believes that the same retail prices at the start of sales may cause increased demand, which often exceeds supply. "After a certain time after the launch of each new model of Apple iPhone smartphones, the degree of differentiation of retail prices increases," the antimonopoly service said.

FAS reported on plans to check pricing for iPhone X on the day of the launch of the new product on November 3. "Considering that iPhone X 256 GB went on sale in Russia on November 3, 2017. It is currently not possible to conclude that there are signs of violation of the antimonopoly legislation. The applicant was denied initiation of the case," FAS concluded.

On September 12, Apple presented new smartphones models - iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Prices for iPhone 8 in the official Apple online store start from 56,990 rubles ($958), iPhone 8 Plus - from 64,990 rubles ($1,092), iPhone X - from 79,990 rubles ($1,344).

Earlier, FAS commission did not find any signs of coordination of Apple's prices for iPhone 7. "We reviewed the case, starting from iPhone 5s and up to iPhone 6s. As for the iPhone 7, we did not find supporting documents," according to the service’s Deputy Head Andrey Tsarikovsky.

"The situation with iPhone 7 sales already was a part of the case, so it would be strange to expect the company to continue price coordination," Tsarikovsky added.

Earlier FAS has found Apple Rus guilty of coordinating prices for iPhone 5s, 5c, 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus. According to the service, Apple Rus has violated the law "On Protection of Competition", which resulted in "coordinating economic activities of Apple iPhone smartphone resellers, which led to establishing and maintaining prices for smartphones." In this regard, parent companies - Apple Holding B.V., Apple Sales Ireland, Apple Operations International, Apple Inc - were not found guilty.

Tsarikovsky noted that Apple's structures cooperated with FAS during consideration of the case and took steps to eliminate violations.

At the same time, FAS can still appoint a penalty fee for coordination of prices for Apple Rus, which can amount to 1-5 mln rubles ($16,806 - $84,032). FAS may initiate administrative case against the company within a few months.

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