US Tech Giant Apple Inc. fined €10 million over misleading waterproofing claims

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Italian Competition Authority Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) reportedly fined Apple Inc. with €10 million ($12 Million) after the latter was accused of making misleading claims about the water resistance of various iPhone models, from the iPhone 8 to the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Claims about the devices being water resistant at a maximum depth of four meters for up to 30 minutes hold true only in controlled lab test environments with pure water, as per an AGCM press release. The press release also criticised Apple’s disclaimer of not including water damage as a part of the iPhone’s warranty, despite its marketing the devices as water resistant, as misleading. 

Apple Inc.’s practice of not providing warranty services for iPhone devices damaged by liquids was termed to be an “aggressive commercial practice.” by the regulatory body. “For these reasons, the authority has decided to impose penalties totalling EUR10 million (roughly ₹90 crores) on Apple Distribution International and on Apple Italia”, it further added.

The US tech giant as of now has declined to comment on the same.

This move comes in two years after the authority had imposed a similar fine of €10 million on Apple as well as Samsung after the two tech giants were accused of allegedly throttling older devices with software updates. Apple was also found guilty of not providing its customers with enough information with regards to its devices’ batteries and limiting their performance after the latter began to face issues following installing iOS 10.2.1. The move was termed the “batterygate” scandal following which, customers who experienced performance issues with their iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus as well as the iPhone SE devices became eligible for a $25 pay out by Apple Inc.

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