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Brazil continues hammering Apple with fines over lack of bundled charger

In the latest chapter of Apple and Brazil's legal battle over AC chargers, Brazil has fined Apple about $19 million and is again dictating that iPhones sold in the country must include chargers.

The latest ruling is an echo of one in early September. In that ruling, Apple was fined R$ 12,274,500 (about $2.3 million) and halted iPhone 12 sales until the company included the charger.

Apple stopped including a charger or EarPods in iPhone packages starting with the iPhone 12 in October 2020, saying that the move was better for the environment. This change was to help Apple reach its goal of a 100% carbon-neutral footprint by 2030.

"It is evident that, under the justification of a 'green initiative,' the defendant imposes on the consumer a required purchase of charger adaptors that were previously supplied along with the product," the court ruled.

For the ruling in 2021, Brazilian authorities noted that removing a charger from a package was fine. However the absence had to be more clearly marked on the packaging that the device previously included a charger but no longer does.

Apple does state on its website that there is no charger in the box, but Brazilian authorities maintain that this is insufficient. In translation, the Brazilian administration says that local consumer law requires such information to be "ostentatious" and not "camouflaged."

Brazil levied a similar fine against Apple in 2021 from the consumer protection regulator Procon-SP. At that time, a fine of R$10,546,442 ($1.9 million) was imposed, along with accusations of false advertising. The agency alleged that Apple sold devices with factory defects and failed to repair devices under warranty.

At the time, Apple failed to convince the regulator of its argument that not including a charger in the iPhone box was better for the environment and that most consumers already had a charger.

Apple was ultimately forced to include chargers with iPhone 12 packages sold in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo.

A report by Reuters On Thursday evening indicates that Apple will appeal the ruling.