Apple may be adding the option to turn off its controversial performance throttling feature through iOS 11.3, but the company is still facing investigations into its failure to disclose the firmware update, which prevents stability issues caused by aging batteries. Following similar probes in Italy and France, the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are now looking into whether Apple violated securities laws through its actions.
According to Bloomberg, the government has requested information from the company, though the investigation is still in its early stages. No other details have been made available, but it’s likely that the agencies are trying to determine if Apple misled investors by not disclosing a risk factor, something that publicly traded companies are required to do.
Apple has confirmed the DOJ and SEC are looking into the situation. "We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them,” it said in statement to Axios.
Italy’s Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato recently opened an investigation into both Cupertino and Samsung over claims they put into practice “a general commercial policy taking advantage of the lack of certain components to curb the performance times of their products and induce consumers to buy new versions.” Samsung has since denied the claims.
The controversy began when Apple admitted to throttling performance in older iPhones after John Poole, founder of benchmarking application Geekbench, looked into the matter. The company subsequently made available battery replacements to owners of iPhone 6s handsets and newer for a discounted price of $29 instead of $79. But that offer, along with the promised iOS 11.3 ability to disable the “Power Management” plan and show the health of a phone’s battery, hasn’t appeased angry owners, some of whom have launched lawsuits against Apple.