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Apple found guilty of fixing iPhone prices in Russia

Students take a selfie ahead of celebrations of the Farewell Bell fest marking the end of classes before their final exams, Novosibirsk, Russia.
Kirill Kukhmar | TASS | Getty Images
Students take a selfie ahead of celebrations of the Farewell Bell fest marking the end of classes before their final exams, Novosibirsk, Russia.

Apple has been found guilty of fixing the price of iPhones in Russia for several years.

Russia's antitrust regulator, the Federal Antimonopoly Service, said today that Apple's local subsidiary coordinated the price at which businesses were allowed to sell its phones. If sellers tried to discount an iPhone, Apple would email them and ask for it to be changed; failing to do so could have led to their contract being terminated.

Apple is said to have done this for the last several years of phones, from the iPhone 5 through the iPhone 6S. The Russian news agency TASS reports the regulator did not find signs of price coordination for the iPhone 7.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Financial Times reports that Apple will have about three months to appeal the ruling. If it doesn't succeed on appeal, Apple could be fined up to 15 percent of its Russian sales.

Russia's antimonopoly regulator said that Apple cooperated with the investigation and has ended its price fixing practices. It's also said to have set up antitrust compliance and training protocols to prevent the company from trying the same thing again in the future.

This is Russia's second recent case against a top smartphone company. Last year, it fined Google for banning phone manufacturers from putting rival search engines on their devices' home screens. It's had to stop that practice, opening the way for competitors to begin gaining ground.

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