If Italy has its way, Apple’s operations in the country may be shut down for 30 days, following a dispute with Italy’s AGCM competition and marketing authority. According to Reuters, Apple is also being faced with fines up to $377,500 unless a free two year warranty is given to all Italian customers.
Apple has been in hot water with Italy for quite some time now, having already been fined 900,000 euros (over $1.2 million) over what the AGCM called “unfair commercial practices” after Apple failed to inform customers about the right to free assistance with their products.
Failing to comply with Italy’s request, Apple now faces more pressure from the AGCM, and threatens to have its Italian operations shut down for 30 days if it doesn’t comply with Italy’s definition of fair commercial practices. According to the AGCM, Apple must provide customers with an included two year warranty, but presently it offers only a one year warranty, with an optional AppleCare purchase to extend it.
Apple has been pushing customers towards purchasing AppleCare with their products, without informing customers that they are required by law to offer them a free two year warranty.
Apple has 30 days to respond to the matter, but the company is often bullish at best when it comes to responding to criticism and complaints, so there’s a good chance that this dispute will be dragged out until the bitter end. A $377,500 fine is really a drop in the bucket for Apple, so I can’t imagine that they’re all that worried about the AGCM at this point.