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Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 05:53 am PT (08:53 am ET)

Italy fines Apple $1.2M for 'unfair commercial practices'

Apple's retail operations were fined 900,000 euros, or $1.2 million, in Italy in response to complaints of "unfair commercial practices" related to product warranties.

The total fine came from what the Italian Antitrust Authority determined were two failures by Apple's retail stores in Italy, according to The Wall Street Journal. Apple Sales International, Apple Italia Srl and Apple Retail Italia were fined "for not providing clear information to customers on product assistance," the report said.

Specifically, Apple was fined 400,000 euros for not providing adequate information to customers about the length of product guarantees. And another 500,000 euros stemmed from Apple not giving customers enough information about its AppleCare extended warranty.

Products sold by Apple come with a standard one-year warranty and option to buy a second year through AppleCare, but local laws require companies to protect buyers with a free two-year warranty. Italian authorities determined that Apple "did not fully implement for consumers the two-year legal guarantee from sellers."

Apple expanded its retail operations into Italy in late 2006 with a store in Ponte di Nona's RomaEst shopping plaza. That store is located in a rural area about 15 kilometers from Roma.

Apple now has a total of 9 retail stores in Italy, with the remaining eight stores located in Bergamo, Oriocenter; Bologna, via Rizzoli; Caserta, Campina; Catania, Centro Sicilia; Firenze, I Gigli; Milano, Carosello; Milano, Fiordaliso; and Torino, Ge Gru.

Italy


Earlier this year, the Italian government also initiated an investigation into the location database file controversy that surrounded Apple. Italy joined the U.S., France, Germany and South Korea in probing the matter, which was quickly resolved with an iOS update.