Apple has again fallen prey to price-fixing allegations in Russia with regards to iPhone. The Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia said that it has opened investigations into the allegations after an appeal from a citizen who claimed identical prices had been set for iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models – which were launched in September last year – at 16 major retailers.
Investigations suggest resellers had quoted identical prices and kept them for over a certain period of time, the anti-monopoly body said. A similar practice has been followed for other iPhone models as well. MTS has been mentioned as one of the resellers in the anti-monopoly service's statement. Another firm Euroset has denied having coordinated prices with other resellers.
"The Anti-Monopoly Service sees signs of price fixing violations in the Russian Federation at Apple iPhone resellers, which resulted in the same prices for these smartphones," the agency said in a statement issued to Reuters.
This is not the first instance Apple is facing accusations over price-fixing. In 2013 the US District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan found compelling evidence against Apple for violating federal antitrust laws by conspiring with publishers to eliminate retail price and raise e-book prices.
"Apple chose to join forces with the publisher defendants to raise e-book prices and equipped them with the means to do so. Without Apple's orchestration of this conspiracy, it would not have succeeded as it did," said Cote.
The company agreed to a $450m (£346m) settlement to resolve the case, with law firm Hagens Berman announcing that millions of e-book purchasers will receive "credits and checks for twice their losses" following the antitrust lawsuit filed against Apple.
Meanwhile, 9to5Mac reported that the Cupertino-headquartered has not maintained a good rapport with its Russian partners. In 2012 MTS accused Apple of running a "dictatorship" over iPhone sales. "They're more in a dictatorship mode where they say, 'This is what you have to do or you don't get the iPhone'. Being arrogant with your partners in big markets doesn't pay off," said MTS vice president of marketing Vasyl Latsanych.