Italy Dishes Out Million Dollar Fine to Apple
The boot-shaped European nation is putting its boots to Apple's behind this week. On Tuesday, Italy’s antitrust body slapped Apple, Inc. with a $1.2 million penalty.
I'll pause for a moment while you chuckle at how small of a fine that is to Apple.
Okay, now that we've all had a good laugh, let's look at the reason for the fine. According to Italian authorities, Apple is being punished for its misleading tactics in encouraging customers to buy the AppleCare Protection Plan. The problem, according to published reports out of Italy, is that Apple largely fails to inform consumers that the purchase of an iDevice already comes with a guaranteed and lengthy period of compulsory free customer support from Apple.
You see, in Italy, companies are mandated by law to provide 24 months of free support to customers. The Italian Antitrust Authority says the same laws apply to Apple and that Apple has failed to clearly articulate this reality to consumers, many of whom may have been duped into purchasing something they didn't really need.
All told, the fine (900,000 euros) is being jointly levied against Apple Italia, Apple Sales International and Apple Retail Italia. Authorities say Apple has 90 days to update its website with information about the two-year guarantee of free customer support...
...or else "the boot" will be back.