Europeans will next year be able to take their smartphones anywhere within the EU and enjoy calls, texts, and data without paying a penny more than they do at home. Expensive roaming fees are set to be scrapped by July 1, 2014, after the European Commission voted to fast-track a major overhaul of telecoms regulation.
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Apple still isn’t correctly informing consumers about their warranty rights in Europe, according to the European Union’s Justice Commissioner, Vivian Reding.
The Cupertino company changed its European warranty policies last year after it came under fire for not meeting EU regulations. But it’s still not providing consumers with the right information in at least 21 of the EU member states, Reding says.
Apple’s AppleCare Protection Plan has come under fire once again in Europe after Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats, a Belgian consumer watchdog, filed a complaint against the way in which the Cupertino company markets the product in Europe.
Customers within the European Union are entitled to a free two-year warranty with any consumer electronics purchase, but Test-Aankoop/Test-Achats claims that Apple’s warranty marketing doesn’t properly explain these rights to Belgian shoppers.
The European Commission’s Vice President for Competition Policy, Joaquín Almunia, has confirmed that it will charge Samsung ”very soon” in an antitrust patent case after the Korean electronics giant broke competition rules by filing patent-infringement lawsuits against Apple. Samsung has been under investigation since January for a possible breach of antitrust rules, and earlier this week, it dropped all of its injunction requests against Apple in Europe.
After an anti-trust lawsuit was launched by the European Union earlier this year to check whether or not Apple’s e-book pricing is anti-competitive, Apple and four publishers are ready to accept an offer from the EU to end the probe.
The acceptance of the offer hands Amazon a big victory in the battle for e-book pricing in Europe as it opens the door for Amazon to continue to sell online books cheaper than its rivals.
EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has called for Apple’s warranty adverts to be examined in the European Union’s 27 states. Reding hopes to establish whether or not the Cupertino company fails to mention a buyers’ right to a minimum two-year warranty for all electronics, including Macs and iOS devices.
Apple has lost an appeal against a court ruling in Germany to have its iCloud push services restored. The service was disabled back in February after it was ruled that Apple had infringed on patents owned by Motorola Mobility. While iCloud is still available, users now have to open up their Mail app and fetch new email manually, or set their device to fetch email at certain intervals.
Having been fined $1.2 million by Italian regulators late last year over its marketing for AppleCare products, Apple has been forced to clarify its warranty coverage for customers in the European Union, and compare its extended warranty products against statutory EU warranty coverage.
Although many EU consumer laws already guarantee twice as much protection, Apple can continue to rip off customers there by selling AppleCare extended warranties.
Lawyer Carlo Piana told Cult of Mac that although Apple lost its appeal over fines for unfair business practices in an Italian court, that probably won’t affect Apple’s stance in the rest of the EU-27, although consumer laws are “harmonized” across member states.
Did Apple conspire with major publishers to increase e-book prices? The European Commission has launched an antitrust probe of Apple and five publishers amid claims the industry was “terrified” by Amazon’s $9.99 e-book push. At the heart is Apple’s iBookstore and the tech giant’s “agency model” that a California lawsuit charges inflated book prices.