AppleCare pulled in Italy: now for the rest of Europe?
Apple removes extended care package from retail stores after Italian fine
Apple has yanked AppleCare from Italian shelves following regulatory action, leading to questions about the future of its extended warranty care in the rest of the EU.
Earlier this year, Italy's competition watchdog issued Apple with a €900,000 fine for not making it clear to customers that they were entitled by EU law to a two-year warranty on products while trying to sell its own AppleCare coverage. The regulator also ordered Apple to change how it advertised the extended coverage.
An Apple spokesperson told Reuters that it was no longer selling its AppleCare Protection Plan in its stores or via resellers in Italy, although it can still be bought on its website as additional protection above the EU manufacturing fault guarantee.
The Italian regulator has accused Apple of encouraging customers to buy extra cover without explaining that the company has to offer a basic two-year warranty.
Apple has denied the accusation, and the two organisations remain in talks about the issue, with a final decision due at the the end of this month.
Apple has also faced wider pressure from the EU, with commissioner Viviane Reding calling on national regulators to keep an eye on how the tech giant sells its extended warranty plan.
"Apple prominently advertised that its products come with a one-year manufacturer warranty but failed to clearly indicate the consumers’ automatic and free-of-cost entitlement to a minimum two-year guarantee under EU law," she said last month in a letter to ministers. "These are unacceptable marketing practices."
Apple has yet to say whether AppleCare will be removed from stores elsewhere in the EU, but it isn't publicly under pressure from regulators in other countries.