The Strategist

Italy fines Apple, Samsung

10/25/2018 - 15:35

Italy's anti-monopoly authorities imposed a fine on the world's largest manufacturers of smartphones, Apple and Samsung, for issuing special software to slow down old smartphones. Thus, companies wanted to encourage buyers to acquire new models. Following the audit, Apple will have to pay € 10 million, and Samsung - € 5 million.

Kārlis Dambrāns via flickr
Kārlis Dambrāns via flickr
The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) stated that Apple and Samsung “resorted to unfair market practices”. They used special software that was installed on Apple and Samsung smartphones. The software “led to serious disruption of work and significantly limited functionality” of the gadget. According to reviews of Italian consumers, installation of such software has led to an obvious slowdown of their smartphones.

According to AGCM, this practice has encouraged owners to buy a new, more functional smartphone model, thereby raising sales.
Recall that Apple back in December last year admitted deliberately reducing the power of processors of older models, explaining that in this case, the device battery lasts longer and there are no unexpected device shutdowns when switching to a new OS. After numerous consumer complaints, Apple was forced to apologize to them, the company published an open letter in which it acknowledged its mistakes and offered to reduce the cost of replacing the battery. In March, Apple released a new version of iOS, in which it was possible to disable the slowdown function of a smartphone with a worn out battery. Similar suspicions about Samsung arose at the beginning of this year, but the South Korean company has so far denied that it has in any way affected the firmware of the devices.

Italian antimonopoly authorities launched an investigation into the fact that Samsung and Apple smartphones were slowing down in January of this year, based on consumer complaints. According to the results of the test, a fine of € 5 million was imposed on Samsung. Apple’s fine is twice as much, because, as stated in the AGCM, the American company did not provide buyers with clear and precise information on the operation of iPhone batteries, how to extend their life, or how to replace the battery. The AGCM decree also obliges both manufacturers to publish the decision of the antitrust authority on their Italian websites so that consumers can familiarize themselves with it.


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Thursday, April 25th 2024 - 03:04 Italian watchdog fines Amazon €10 mln