Apple is being fined 900,000-euro-or approximately $1.2 million USD-by Italian antitrust authorities after the company was “found responsible for bad commercial practices that harmed consumers.” According to a report by AFP, Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato is imposing the fines related to an investigation regarding AppleCare and the Italian Consumer Code:
Apple had given “unclear information on payments for additional assistance offered to consumers” and the company had not “fully implemented the two-year guarantee by the producer
The Italian Consumer Code -and European Union law- provides consumers with a minimum, mandatory two-year warranty on all electronics. The antitrust authority essentially claims Apple is deceiving its customers by selling AppleCare warranties and providing its one-year manufacturer warranty without explicit indication of consumers’ rights to the complimentary two-year warranty. Apple does not currently offer the free, mandatory two-year warranty in Italy or elsewhere.
Targeted in the fines are Apple Inc., Apple Sales International, and Apple Retail Italy. Apple was asked to “cease practice and notify the Authority” of a new warranty policy for Italy, as well as publish a document on Apple.com to inform consumers of the resolution.
The European Antitrust Commission is also probing Apple over its e-book business. Earlier this month, they claimed Apple has “engaged in illegal agreements or practices that would have the object or the effect of restricting competition in the EU or in the EEA.” That EAC investigation is ongoing.