European Union law ▪ March 4, 2014

Image: belgium-iphone.lesoir.be

Belgian Apple Store concept image: belgium-iphone.lesoir.be

A Belgian judge is reportedly considering ordering local ISPs to block access to all Apple websites in the country in response to a long-running dispute over the company’s promotion of AppleCare warranties, according to local newspapers cited by Tech.eu.

A case brought by the consumer protection group FPS Economy argued that Apple misleads consumers by claiming a standard warranty of one year, and selling an optional AppleCare extension, when EU law means that manufacturers are legally obliged to offer a minimum warranty of two years as standard …  expand full story

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Last we heard, Apple was being threatened with closure of its Italian operations if it did not make necessary changes to its warranty policies following an investigation by the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato. The authorities had previously fined Apple $1.2 million, claiming the company failed to inform consumers about a two-year warranty mandatory by EU law. Now it appears Apple has officially taken its AppleCare Protection Plan products off the shelves in Italy with only online versions of the product still available to Italian customers.

setteB.IT shared the image above showing what is apparently an email from Apple Distribution International in Ireland to Apple resellers in Italy. Apple informed resellers that it would stop selling all AppleCare Protection Plans in Italian Apple Stores as well as through authorized resellers. From the email, it also appeared Apple will no longer offer AppleCare-related services over the phone in the country.

setteB.IT also noted Apple has updated the terms for AppleCare on its Italian website. Rather than a “1 year warranty”, the website now reads “AppleCare plans benefits are added to the 2 year warranty of the seller, required by Italian regulators to protect the consumers.”

A full translation of the email is below:

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