A Rome court has upheld a €900,000 (US$1.2 million) fine imposed on Apple last December by Italy’s Antitrust Authority for circumventing consumer protection laws, Italian media said Friday, March 23.
According to PCWorld, the Regional Administrative Tribunal (TAR) of Lazio rejected Apple’s appeal that the fine be suspended pending a ruling on the merits of the question slated for May 9.
The Antitrust Authority imposed the fine on Apple Sales International, Apple Italia Srl and Apple Sales Retail for not providing enough information about guarantees afforded by the Italian Consumer Code and for giving misleading information in order to sell more AppleCare packages.
The court did, however, order the suspension of the Antitrust Authority’s order that Apple modify its publicity and packaging in relation to the AppleCare Protection Plan, accepting the company’s argument that if the order was overturned by the court in May the obligatory modifications would cause “grave and irreparable” harm to Apple.
The campaign to force Apple to modify its behavior in Italy has been spearheaded by the Milan-based Altroconsumo consumer association. The consumer organization pointed out that Italian and European Union regulations give consumers the right to a 24-month warranty from the vendor, while Apple refused to honor the guarantee for the second year and sometimes created difficulties even in respect to the first year’s guarantee.