Apple to Pay Millions for Australian 4G iPad Debacle
Apple is facing a penalty of more than $2 million Australian for allegedly misleading consumers by promoting the 4G capabilities of the new iPad despite its incompatibility with Australia’s sole 4G network, run by Telstra.
On Friday, the company agreed to pay A$2.25 million in fines and A$300,000 in legal fees to settle the case brought against it by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, though the presiding judge, Mordecai Bromberg of the Federal Court in Victoria, is unsure whether that’s a sufficient penalty. He has declined to approve the settlement until he’s told how many customers felt they’d been misled by the “iPad + 4G” branding Apple used in Australia, and learns more about the company’s finances.
“I don’t know whether we’re talking about a corporation that makes $10 million or $300 million,” Bromberg said. “How do I know that (the penalty) is meaningful for Apple if you don’t put before me any idea of what its financial position is?”
Apple says neither of those things matter. It argues that there was no loss to customers, because it has offered refunds to customers who bought the new iPad believing it supported Australian 4G, and that the fine for its behavior shouldn’t be based on its finances. But it provided Bromberg with the information he requested, nonetheless. Now Apple awaits his final ruling on the settlement, which should be issued within a week or so.