Italian Antitrust Group Threatens To Close Apple Operations In Italy
Apple’s warranty policies have resulted in some serious legal exchanges with many foreign nations. Once Taiwan made Apple offer a 7-day return policy on App Store purchases.
However, the ongoing legal battle in Italy over Apple’s AppleCare warranty policy is more serious as it could result in the temporary closure of Apple’s Italian operations.
Italian antitrust authorities have already made Apple pay nearly $1.2 million in fines after the company lost an appeal in March. Now the Italian government has threatened Apple with another fine, and possible “temporary closure of its operations in Italy” if Apple does not amend its warranty policy to comply with European Union (EU) law.
Apple Inc was threatened with the temporary closure of its operations in Italy and with further fines of up to 300,000 euros ($377,500) if it does not offer customers a free two-year warranty as demanded by Italian law… The AGCM said in its monthly bulletin that Apple was continuing to adopt unfair commercial practices in Italy and noted this could eventually lead to the closure of its Italian operations for up to 30 days. — Reuters
The previous fine seems to have had little influence over Apple’s warranty policy. This is not surprising considering how insignificant $1.2 million is to Apple. Apple is still offering what Reuters calls a “free one-year guarantee scheme, which can be extended” with a fee of course. The underhanded aspect of Apple’s “scheme” is that the Cupertino, California-based company encourages customers to purchase the extended AppleCare without informing them Apple is required to offer a two-year free warranty by EU law.
Perhaps shutting down Italian operations and the threat of as many as 10 more countries taking similar action will leave Apple with no choice but to institute the policy.