Apple was fined a total of 900,000 euros, or approximately $1.2 million, in Italy by its anti-trust authority for misleading consumers about product guarantees and post-sales service.
“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,” said the official statement.
According to the anti-trust authority, Apple tried to sell its AppleCare Protection Plan to customers, without informing them that they were entitled to two years of free assistance for the products under Italian law. The free service period required by law overlapped with the AppleCare protection plan coverage.
The authority fined three of Apple’s local divisions – Apple Italia, Apple Retail Italia, and Apple Sales International. It fined Apple 400 million euros for failing to inform consumers about the free coverage, and 500 million euros for trying to make them sign up for the AppleCare Protection Plan.
The fine is more symbolic than punitive in nature, as $1.2 million is chump change for Apple which has more than $80 billion in the bank. In addition to the fine, Apple will also have to publish an extract of the resolution on its website to inform consumers, and add details of the free two-year warranty to its AppleCare plan.