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Apple Fined $1.2 Million in Italy Over AppleCare Warranties

Published on December 27, 2011
by John Paczkowski

Apple has run afoul of Italy’s antitrust regulators for its handling of product warranty disclosures.

This morning, the country’s Antitrust Authority slapped Apple with a $1.2 million fine, penalizing its Apple Sales International, Apple Italia S.R.L. and Apple Retail Italia divisions for what it describes as “unfair commercial practices.”

“Sanctions of a total of 900,000 euros have been imposed on the Apple group after it was found responsible for bad commercial practices that harmed consumers,” the agency said in a statement.

According to the Antitrust Authority, Apple has been selling its Italian customers AppleCare extended warranties, despite the fact that they overlap with the standard two-year product warranty required by European law. In other words, it has been upselling customers additional warranty protection without properly explaining the two years of free assistance they are already entitled to under Italian law. Essentially, Apple has been recognizing only the conventional one-year guarantee it offers on most of its products, and the additional coverage provided with the purchase of AppleCare.

Now, in addition to paying the fine levied against it, Apple must, within 90 days, add to its AppleCare plan details of the two-year guarantee required by European law.

Apple has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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