Italy antitrust watchdog fines Apple $1.7m

2011-12-27 15:30

Rome - Italy's antitrust authority said Tuesday it has fined US technology giant Apple a total of €900 000 ($1.7m) for misleading consumers on post-purchase assistance and warranties for its products.

"Sanctions totalling €900 000 (have been imposed) on the Apple group, which is responsible for unfair commercial practices that have harmed consumers," the Autorita Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) said in a statement.

Apple had given "unclear information on payments for additional assistance offered to consumers" and the company had not "fully implemented the two-year warranty by the producer," AGCM added.

Italy's antitrust authority said three Apple subsidiaries operating in Italy were targeted: Apple Sales International, Apple Italia Srl and Apple Retail Italia.

Also this month, the European Union's executive, the European Commission, launched an investigation into whether Apple and five international publishers had violated EU competition laws by colluding on the sale of e-books.

Apple is also under pressure in its battle with Korean rival Samsung, which accuses the US giant of infringing upon four of its patents with the iPhone.

In Germany, Apple could be facing defeat in its legal battle in Germany over the design of Samsung's tablet computer, with a judge last week saying that the Korean company had changed the design of the tablet significantly from Apple's iPad tablet.Author: Peter Mayer