The Strategist

Apple gets €10M fine in Italy for misleading ads

12/01/2020 - 04:31

The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) has fined Apple €10 million for "aggressive and misleading" commercial practices when selling various iPhone models, the watchdog said.

The first claim against the American manufacturer concerns advertising about waterproof properties of a number of iPhone smartphones, according to which they could withstand "a depth of 1 to 4 meters depending on the model" for half an hour.

However, according to AGCM, these properties were not achieved in normal use, but only "under certain conditions, for example, during special and controlled laboratory tests using still and clean water".

The antimonopoly authorities have concluded that the company's disclaimer of liability for damage caused by fluids, combined with advertising that speaks about the waterproof properties of smartphones, misleads consumers.

In addition, it is Apple's aggressive commercial practice to refuse warranty service in the event that these iPhone models are damaged by water or other liquids. This, in the opinion of the authority, hinders the exercise of the right to guarantee under the Italian consumer protection code.

In addition to the fine, AGCM has instructed Apple and its Italian representative to publish an excerpt of the order on its website.