Egypt Says Apple is Violating Competition Laws, Gives 60-Day Deadline for Response

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An iPhone XS Max is already an expensive smartphone, even in the United States, but the price can be even crazier in Egypt.

As Bloomberg reports on Tuesday, the Egyptian government is finally weighing in on sky-high iPhone prices in the region. An iPhone can actually cost 50% more in Egypt than it does in other Middle Eastern locations. One example given is the iPhone XS Max with 512GB of storage, where it goes for $1,306 in the United Arab Emirates, but can cost as much as $1,983 in Egypt through an authorized reseller.

It does not appear that Egypt is looking for an outright ban of Apple’s iPhone lineup, but it has made it clear in a public declaration within the Official Gazette that it will seek legal action against the U.S.-based company and the UAE-based agent, Arab Business Machine, if the extravagant prices aren’t immediately dealt with.

Egypt is placing a 60-day window for a response, saying Apple should “remove any restrictions on the ability of a distributor” within that timeframe.

“Egypt, where an iPhone can cost 50 percent more than elsewhere in the Middle East, has given Apple Inc. two months to end what it claims are unfair restrictions on local distributors — or face legal action.

The move against the Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker and its regional distributor comes just days after the Egyptian Competition Authority claimed they were violating local law by concluding exclusive distribution agreements.”

Apple, at the time of publication, has not made a public statement on the matter.

In related news, Apple is not seeing the most positive streak of international relations in December. We recently reported that a Chinese court has blocked in the import of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X due to the legal battle with Qualcomm.

[via Bloomberg]