Apple fined by Italy over customer guarantees

Apple has been slapped with a big fine by Italy over the company's customer guarantees. The BBC reports that Italy's Antitrust Authority has given Apple a 900,000 euro ($1.2 million) penalty, claiming that Apple mislead its customers and did not inform them of their legal rights to get two years of technical support for their products.

Instead, the Antitrust Authority claimed that Apple only told its customers of a standard one year warranty. It also said that Apple charged customers for additional support when in fact they could have gotten a second free year of service. Italy's own consumer code has such a requirement and the government said today that Apple was fined 400,000 Euros for not telling its customers about that code, either on its web site or during the sale of products itself.

The other 400,000 Euros in penalties were put in due to Apple's use of its own paid customer service plan which overlapped the second free year. The Antitrust Authority said that both actions "induce consumers to sign an additional contract."

The ruling also said that Apple must now add details of the two year free plan to its own Applecare service contract within 90 days. So far, Apple has yet to comment on the ruling.

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