Italian watchdog Autorita Garante Della Concorrenza e del Mercato is taking a closer look at the activities of Apple and Samsung to decide whether they should be fined over software updates to slow devices.
According to Reuters, the Italian antitrust regulator will join various other bodies in investigating whether the suspect activities violate any laws. The potential damage here could be quite considerate, as investigations are focusing around four consumer protection laws, violations of which could lead to fines in the millions of euros.
Samsung has been dragged into this shady part of the world, but Apple has been the one receiving the biggest amount of flak. Over the Christmas period, the iChief was forced to admit it was intentionally slowing down older devices, but this was to help the consumer.
As we all know, companies like Apple have the consumers interests as a number one priority, and profits never factor into the equation. Apple said it was slowing the device down to improve battery life and ultimately the experience for the consumer. It was nothing to do with the fact a clunky device would coerce the consumer into purchasing a new (and very expensive) device.
To try and ease the negative press, Apple said that it was lowering the price of a replacement battery to $29, in line with other device manufacturers. While this was intended as a gesture of good will, the move highlighted how much Apple was ripping off consumers with overpriced replacement components. Unfortunately this is just one example of how Apple holds its loyal followers to ransom.
Such instances of ‘planned obsolescence’ are illegal in many countries, with Apple facing lawsuits in a variety of different court rooms. Aside from the Italian job, Apple is facing pressure in France and at home, with cases being filed in New York and Illinois.
While these fines are supposed to act as a deterrent, in Apple’s case it will barely register as a blip on the spreadsheets. Such is the financial power of Apple, it is rumoured to be repatriating $250 billion over the next couple of months, a fine in the region of a couple of million won’t force it to change its ways. Expect a sorry and back to the business of shackling and abusing iLifers.