World Bulletin / News Desk
In its ruling, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), Russia’s antitrust regulator, said Tuesday that Apple set the price businesses were allowed to charge for iPhones for the first three months of the devices’ release.
It noted that Apple contacted any retailer that offered a discount for the device during this initial period, and the company terminated the contracts of sellers that did not comply to its pricing system.
“In the case of ‘inappropriate’ prices, the Russian subsidiary of Apple has sent emails to resellers requesting them to change,” according to a statement published by FAS.
The regulators noted that the scheme existed for all versions from the iPhone 5, released in 2012, to the iPhone 6S, released in 2015.
No price fixing was found in the case of the iPhone 7, the most recently released iPhone that was launched late last year.
Apple has three months to appeal the ruling. If the appeal fails, Apple could be fined an amount equivalent to 15 percent of its total sales in Russia.
Apple has not commented on the ruling, but FAS announced the company cooperated fully with the investigation.
Apple markets the iPhone as a luxury brand, which is likely the reason it punished retailers for offering discounts.
FAS went after Apple’s chief competitor Google last year, forcing it to end a practice that prohibited smartphone sellers in Russia from installing rival search engine apps on Android devices’ home screens. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, was fined $6.75 million.
The fine was extremely small compared to Alphabet’s revenue, but the ruling allowed Russian search engines to gain a larger foothold among smartphone users.
Shares of Apple were down slightly amid the news, dropping 0.15 percent by Tuesday’s close of markets to $138.99 per share.
Crude prices stabilised after diving more than two percent on Tuesday on increasing fears of a global supply glut, as continued production in the US and elsewhere offsets an OPEC output cut deal.
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However, most other regional markets struggled after Monday's healthy gains, despite being given a positive lead from Wall Street where the Dow and S&P 500 closed at fresh record highs.
The purchase in one fell swoop gives Amazon, which until now has operated almost entirely on the internet, a big presence in the brick-and-mortar world on Main Street, with more than 450 stores in the US, Canada and Britain.
"The Bank of Russia Board of Directors decided to cut the key rate to 9.00 percent per annum," the bank said in a statement. The cut follows a half-point decrease in late April.
Equity traders have suffered a fraught week as the crisis engulfing Donald Trump picks up pace, technology firms tumbled from recent highs and energy plays were hammered by plunging oil prices.
"In May 2017, passenger car registrations across the EU increased by 7.6 percent to 1.387 million units," ACEA said in a statement.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index climbed 0.4 percent to 12,746.05 points, and the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.5 percent to 5,243.53 compared with the close on Thursday.
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While a "rebalancing of the market" was "underway," it was "at a slower pace than originally anticipated," the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries wrote in its latest monthly oil market report.
US, with 30 planned LNG terminals and six under-construction, is forecast to be next leader in LNG markets