updated 01:40 pm EDT, Mon March 19, 2012
Italian case could be first of many
European consumer groups in 11 countries -- including Italy and Germany -- have issued letters to national regulators, asking them to put a stop to the way Apple currently markets its warranties, Bloomberg reports. Apple typically markets its products as having one-year warranties unless a person buys into an AppleCare plan. Under European Union regulations, though, manufacturers are obligated to cover a product for at least two years, making Apple's marketing potentially misleading.
"Consumers should not be misled and confused as to fundamental EU consumer rights because a company wants to sell their commercial warranty services," says Monique Goyens, the director general of one of the consumer groups, the European Consumer Organization. In Italy Apple has already been hit with a €900,000 fine in the matter. The letters could potentially trigger more fines, but no other actions have been announced so far.
Apple is planning to appeal the Italian fine in a court hearing on March 21st. The company has mostly kept quiet on the matter, although it did post a link on its Italian online store acknowledging the legal dispute.