Russia’s antimonopoly agency found Apple guilty of forcing retailers in the country to coordinate over prices of iPhones, according to a statement by the group Tuesday.
The country’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) said Apple’s local subsidiary told 16 retailers in Russia to fix the prices of iPhone 5 and 6 models, according to a report by the Financial Times (subscription required).
THE RULING MEANS APPLE COULD FACE A FINE OF UP TO 15 PERCENT OF ITS RUSSIAN SALES
The ruling means Apple could face a fine of up to 15 percent of its Russian sales, the report said. The company will have three months to appeal after the full decision is published later this month.
Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
THE RULLING COMES AS REGULATORS IN EUROPE HAVE BEEN INCREASINGLY
The ruling comes as regulators in Europe have been increasingly scrutinizing American tech companies. Last year, the Russian competition watchdog found Google guilty of forcing smartphone makers to feature the company’s own services more prominently on Android phones. Regulators in Europe have also been cracking down on Google and Facebook when it comes to hate speech and fake news.
Regarding the price-fixing case, if a retailer sold an iPhone at an “inappropriate” price, Apple sent emails to those retailers asking them to change it, according to the statement by FAS, written in Russian but translated via Google Translate.