fine Stories February 5, 2015

Typo ordered to pay BlackBerry $860k for selling its knockoff iPhone keyboard case

Typo, the Ryan Seacrest-backed company selling an iPhone case with an integrated hardware keyboard, has been ordered to pay BlackBerry around $860,600 in the ongoing case between the two companies, Reuters reports

If you’re unfamiliar, BlackBerry didn’t particularly like the Typo keyboard’s resemblance to its own iconic, albeit obsolete, keyboard included on its dwindling smartphone lineup and covered by its patents. After the court handed down an injunction following an original suit filed in January of 2014, a US District Judge in San Francisco ruled this week that Typo will have to pay the £567,303, or approximately $860,600, fine for violating the injunction and continuing to sell the product.

Despite little interest from anyone and generally poor reviews, Typo plans to keep making its keyboard cases and noted to Reuters that the fines do not relate to its latest generation of Typo 2 products unveiled at CES last month.

fine Stories December 26, 2013

The Wall Street Journal reports that Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission has fined Apple approximately US$670,000 for its attempts to influence phone pricing set by distributors and service providers in the region. According to a statement from the commission, Apple was forcing at least three carriers to submit pricing plans for iPhone ahead of offering the devices for sale:

“Through the email correspondence between Apple and these three telecom companies we discovered the companies submit their pricing plans to Apple to be approved or confirmed before the products hit the market,” it said in a statement.

The report adds that Apple could face an additional fine of NT$50 million (around $1.7 million US) if it doesn’t change its current methods of negotiating iPhone pricing plans with carriers: expand full story

fine Stories January 28, 2013

Following FTC fines, UK iPhone users sue Google for bypassing Safari privacy settings

Google agreed to pay a record $22.5 million Federal Trade Commission fine in August following an investigation into whether it bypassed mobile Safari security settings to install tracking cookies without user consent. Now, 12 iPhone users in the United Kingdom have launched a lawsuit against Google that seeks compensation related to the tracking. They also want a “proper explanation” about how their personal information was used. The Telegraph via Business Insider has the full story:

It is thought the case, being brought against Google by law firm Olswang on behalf of the internet users, is the first of its kind in the UK. They say that cookies, small tracking files, were installed by Google on the Apple computers and mobile devices of those using the Safari internet browser without their knowledge .

Claimants thought that cookies would be blocked because of assurances given by Google in the time their devices were allegedly affected, from summer 2011 to spring 2012, and also because of Safari’s default settings.

“We hope that they will take this opportunity to give Safari users a proper explanation about what happened, to apologize and, where appropriate, compensate the victims of their intrusion.”

fine Stories April 17, 2012

In February, the story broke that Google and other advertising companies were bypassing iOS Safari’s privacy settings and continuing to track users without their consent. Google quickly disabled its code responsible for the tracking after a story from The Wall Street Journal published, and Apple then claimed it was “working to put a stop” to the issue.

Now, a new report from Mercury News claimed the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is considering whether to fine Google over the incident. The decision is expected in the next 30 days:

The Federal Trade Commission is deep into an investigation of Google’s actions in bypassing the default privacy settings of Apple’s (AAPL) Safari browser for Google users, according to sources familiar with ongoing negotiations between the company and the government… Within the next 30 days, the FTC could order the Mountain View search giant to pay an even larger fine in the Safari case than the penalty the Federal Communications Commission hit Google with Friday, say the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The report is referring to Google being recently fined $25,000 by the FCC after it allegedly “deliberately impeded and delayed” an investigation related to Street View cars. The heart of the Safari bypassing investigation is whether the company is violating a previous privacy agreement made with the FTC following controversy over the failed “Buzz” service. The report claimed Google could face up to $16,000 per violation per day for violating the agreement. Google said to Mercury News today it would “cooperate with any officials who have questions” and explained making its +1 compatible on mobile Safari created the issue:

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The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

fine Stories December 30, 2011

Apple plans to appeal a decision by Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato to impose $1.2 million USD fine for not providing consumers with a two-year warranty mandatory under European Union law and the Italian Consumer Code. An Apple PR representative apparently confirmed the decision to appeal the fines to The Register.

We reported earlier this week that Italian antitrust authorities were fining Apple Inc., Apple Sales International, and Apple Retail Italy $1.2 million USD related to “bad commercial practices that harmed consumers.” The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato claimed Apple has not implemented a two-year product guarantee available to all consumers through EU law. Instead, Apple continues to push their own AppleCare warranties to consumers without indication of the consumer’s rights to the free two-year guarantee.

The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato asked Apple “cease practice” of their current warranty policies, and “notify the Authority” of a new course of action. They also want Apple to publish clarification of the new policy on Apple.com to notify consumers. It is unclear if other authorities throughout the EU will take similar action.

Apple is also accused by the European Antitrust Commission of engaging in “illegal agreements or practices that would have the object or the effect of restricting competition in the EU or in the EEA” related to their iBooks business.

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