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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Panasonic Accuser Backtracks

The head of M.Video said late Friday that it was "foolish" and "silly" for his company and five other Russian retailers to use a news conference to accuse Panasonic of smuggling.

"We did not think it through," he said, speaking on the condition that his name not be published. "The companies are young and the market is young."

Both Panasonic and Media-Markt, the chain that sold Panasonic televisions at prices lower than the six retailers, deny that they brought any goods into the country illegally.

The six retailers -- M.Video, ElDorado, Mir, Svyaznoy, Evroset and Technosila -- said Wednesday that they would boycott Panasonic goods.

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service said Thursday that it was investigating whether the six firms had acted as a cartel. The notion of a cartel was introduced into Russian law Oct. 26, and the M.Video chief said the firms had not been aware of the new legislation.

"We should have consulted someone," he said. He said the retailers had for months been calling for a crackdown on illegal imports.

The M.Video chief maintained Friday that Panasonic and Media Markt had engaged in illegal import practices.

"The general direction of [the accusations] were correct," he said. "But the way we expressed them was a shame."

Italian home-appliance maker Indesit said in a letter to retailers it was suspending deliveries to Media Markt, Kommersant reported Friday.