We told you in December that Apple was being fined $1.2 million by Italian anti-trust authorities for “misleading consumers” with AppleCare warranties. At the time, the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato claimed Apple was failing to properly inform consumers of a two-year guarantee mandatory by Italian Consumer Code and European Union law. In response, Apple placed a prominent link on its Italian online store today that translates to “Communication to protect consumers” and links to a PDF of the antitrust decision by L’Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato. A full translation from the PDF is available after the break.

“The company Apple Sales International, finally, within 90 days, need to adapt the sales package of services AppleCare Protection Plan, by inserting the indication on the existence and the two-year guarantee of compliance and indicating the correct length of service with respect to maturity the legal guarantee of conformity.”

Apple is being asked to alter the terms of its AppleCare Protection Plans to clarify the existence of the two-year mandatory guarantee and provide “wide and comprehensive information to consumers, relative to the two-year guarantee of compliance” on its website. Reports shortly after the fine was imposed claimed Apple planned to appeal the decision. There is no mention of the appeal on Apple’s website or within the PDF (below).

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Translation:

The procedure is for certain behaviors in by professionals relating to the information and the application of the “guarantee legal compliance and commercial guarantees for consumer goods” under Articles. 128 to 135 of the Consumer Code.

i) [snip] professionals, both at the time of purchase that at the time of the request for assistance, does not adequately informed consumers about their rights of free care they are entitled by law every two years will recognize them the same rights but merely to recognize the manufacturer’s conventional warranty, 1 year for Apple;

ii) the information provided about the nature, content and duration of additional services offered to consumers when purchasing a commodity does not adequately clarified the right of consumers to the two-year guarantee of compliance by the seller as well to induce them to activate a new contract, for consideration, the contents of which is in part overlap with the rights already due under the legal guarantee, which does not charge or cost limitations [snip]

RESOLUTION

[Snip] that the commercial practica described in paragraph ll, letter i) of this provision, put in place by Apple Sales International companies, Apple and Apple Retail Srl Italy Srl Italy, is, for the reasons and within the limits set out in the premises, an unfair commercial practica under Articles. 20 21, 22 and 23, paragraph 1, letter I), 24 and 25 d) of the Consumer Code, and prohibits the dissemination or persistence;

e) that the commercial practica described in paragraph ll, point ii) of this provision, put in place by Apple Sales International companies, Apple and Apple Retail Srl Italy Srl Italy, is, for the reasons and motivation within the limits shown in a unfair commercial practica under Articles. 20 21, 22 and 23, paragraph 1, letter I) of the Consumer Code, and prohibits the dissemination or persistence;

f) the imposition of the company Apple Sales International, for the violations referred to in subparagraphs d) and e), two administrative fines amounting to, respectively, 240,000 (two hundred forty thousand euros) and 300,000 (three hundred thousand euros);

g) to impose the company Apple Sales International, for the violations referred to in subparagraphs d) and e), two administrative fines amounting to, respectively, 80,000 (eighty thousand euros) and 100,000 (one hundred thousand euros);

h) the imposition of the company Apple Sales International, for the violations referred to in subparagraphs d) and e), two administrative fines amounting to, respectively, 80,000 (eighty thousand euros) and 100,000 (one hundred thousand euros); [snip].

(Extract from the action taken on 21.12. 2011, the full text on the site of e’pubblicato ‘www.agcm.it Authority)

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