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Italy's Antitrust Authority has fined Apple €900,000 (some $1.2 million) today for misleading consumers. The country launched an investigation following complaints of "unfair commercial practices" related to product warranties.
Apple sells its products with a standard one-year warranty and offers additional coverage through its AppleCare Protection Plan. However, that policy clashes with Italy's Consumer Code, which protects buyers with a mandatory two-year warranty.
According to the antitrust body, Apple Sales International, Apple Italia and Apple Retail Italia failed to inform customers that they were entitled to two years of free coverage. It's reported that €400,000 of the fine is for misleading consumers about their right to the additional warranty, while the remaining €500,000 was for selling AppleCare.
The company has 90 days to update its AppleCare policy so it's in compliance with Italian law and informs shoppers about their rights.
It's unclear how much Apple profited off extended warranty sales in the region, where it has nine retail outlets and an online store. Nonetheless, the $1.2 fine million is essentially pocket change compared to the company's quarterly earnings.
Apple posted a net profit of $6.62 billion in the last quarter, at which time it reportedly had $81.6 billion in the bank. Apple hasn't responded to the announcement and it has 60 days to appeal the ruling according to the Antitrust Authority.
The news comes as Apple is accused of various wrongdoings around the globe. In early December, the European Commission launched formal antitrust proceedings to learn whether Apple and five ebook publishers are engaged in anticompetitive practices.
A similar US class-action suit was filed in August. In April, several governments began investigating the controversial iOS tracking discovery. This is on top of the ongoing squabbles with Samsung and others.
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