Apple says disagrees with Italy antitrust complaint

MILAN Tue Jul 3, 2012 2:42pm EDT

People wait on a street in front of an Apple store as they await sales of the new iPad in the Apple store in Munich March 16, 2012. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

People wait on a street in front of an Apple store as they await sales of the new iPad in the Apple store in Munich March 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Michaela Rehle

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MILAN (Reuters) - Apple Inc on Tuesday disputed an order by Italian regulators that the company must clearly offer a free two-year warranty on its electronics or face fines of 300,000 euros ($378,200) and possible temporary closure of its Italian operations.

Italy's antitrust watchdog AGCM has already fined Apple divisions some 900,000 euros for failing to offer the free guarantee, which is obligatory under Italian and European Union law.

The regulator said Monday that Apple, the maker of the iPhone and iPad, had not fully complied with the initial request and threatening the company with new fines.

Apple, which recently lost an Italian court case against the original regulatory decision, said it had launched a new appeal.

"We have appealed the recent decision of the (Italian) court as it was, in our view, based upon an incorrect interpretation of the law," Apple said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

"We have introduced a number of measures to address the Italian competition authority concerns and we disagree with their latest complaint."

On its Italian website, Apple explained it offers a two-year free guarantee on defects existing at the time of delivery plus one additional one-year free guarantee covering defects arising after delivery.

To extend the latter, Apple gives customers the possibility to buy its AppleCare Protection Plan (APP), valid for two or three years, depending on the product.

The AGCM, which believes the information offered by Apple is insufficient, said in its monthly bulletin that Apple was continuing to adopt unfair commercial practices in Italy. It said this could eventually lead to the closure of its Italian operations for up to 30 days.

Apple has 30 days to respond.

The AGCM alleged the information provided by Apple about an extra guarantee plan encourages customers to buy the APP service without clearly explaining that the company is obliged to offer a two-year free warranty.

(Reporting By Lisa Jucca; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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Comments (3)
When you buy an iPhone anywhere is the warrantee covered world wide! If yes and you buy the iPhone in Italy will it then be covered world wide for 2 years! Apple will have to comply eventually.

Jul 03, 2012 1:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SeaWa wrote:
This aspect of Europe is annoying. Who is the administrator of their Antitrust laws? The EU? Or each member country? It sounds like double jeopardy to have to continuously fight both levels of the continental government. Sometimes I wish they’d (EU) just merge or break up. This in between stuff is not functional.

Jul 03, 2012 3:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
nkolvek wrote:
Apple wears a global “do what we want, when we want” badge. That tends to happen when you have more money than a country. When Raytheon invented the microwave they didn’t throw a global temper tantrum to make sure they are the ONLY manufacturer of a microwave or else every microwave in every home in the world would say Amana on it. This whole fiasco is so far out of control it’s stupid. Apple needs to just shut up and go make some new products instead of “refreshing” the same old crap they’ve had for years. It’s called innovation, not updating the same 5 year old crap.

Let’s recap apple in the last 10 years. Apple moved from making their own processor to moving to all PC intel hardware except the EFI and audio chipset. So in reality you pay triple the cost of a PC with the exact same hardware or better than apple’s and you do it with a smile because most have no clue they just bought a PC running different software than windows. Let’s skip ahead to the iphones and ipad’s. IOS 5 saw the inclusion of wifi sync and the status center. Where did those come from. Well, the status center was a direct ripoff from android who has had it from the beginning, long before apple. Wifi sync was stolen from Greg Hughes who submitted his app to the appstore and was pulled and denied from selling his invention (long before apple also) and was forced to sell it on cydia at a monetary cut as apposed to what he could have made from the apple appstore but apple stole his work too.

Now apple is throwing a global temper tantrum over other smart device makers, trying to have them all blocked from sales. Forcing Crapple to be the ONLY people who are allowed to make a “smart device”. Well apple, not all microwaves in the world say Amana on them. Grow up and move on. Be the company that people believe you are but aren’t.

Jul 05, 2012 9:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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