The Federal Antimonopoly service (FAS) began an investigation of 16 of the largest Russian retail chains on suspicion of price collusion in sales of smartphones iPhone. About it reports “Interfax” with reference to the Deputy chief of management FAS on struggle against cartels Andrey Filimonov.
In particular, antitrust agencies interested in the pricing of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus at 16 retailers, including “Euroset”, “Svyaznoy”, “Eldorado”, “Technosila”, re:Store, “Beeline”, “Megaphone”, “Mobiland” (a network of “Know-How”) and Ozon.ru. In addition, the office reviews official Apple store in Russia.
The Agency found that the retailer after the start of sales iPhone 6s prices on smartphones either did not differ or were varied in the range from 9 rubles, or differed only in the periods of meeting. In a press release, Apple stated the same prices as in retail chains, noted in the FAS.
According to authorities, these facts suggest that retailers set prices independently. The FAS requested trade networks information about purchase prices from suppliers, the cost of transportation to the regions in the formation of prices for the product and also the additional conditions on the resale of smartphones, including the volume of sales.
If the fact of cartel collusion is proved, it is threatened participants working fine in amount from 1% to 15% of sales iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in 2015. The FAS hopes to complete the audit within one month.
The representative of “Euroset” Ulyana Smolskaya said that similar price from different retailers may just be “optimal”. “If the prices look comparable in different companies, it is an indication of the optimal market balance of supply and demand, where the buyer is already an interesting price for the goods and the seller is still profitable to sell,” she said.
“There is no collusion. Pricing occurs on market laws. Often retailers sell the iPhone in the negative to attract customers”, – noted in turn, the representative Ozon.ru.
FAS is not the first time suspect retailers of price collusion on sales of the iPhone. In 2012, the service acknowledged “Beeline” and MTS guilty of concerted action to establish identical wholesale prices for the iPhone 4. While companies were fined 18 million rubles and 16 million rubles, respectively.
The Ministry said that will also track the pricing of the iPhone 7.