The Italian authorities have had a gutsful of Apple sticking two fingers up at its consumer laws and treating their customers like trash.
The row is over the length of time that a warranty is expected to last. Apple does not build its products to last longer than a year but offers an extended warranty for punters that pay for it.
Italy insists that electronics you pay good money for should be designed to last a little longer and insists that Apple fix its broken products for free, for up to two years.
Apple acknowledges that it has to do this but has been getting around the problem by pretending it does not exist. It has not been telling customers that they get the second year free and has been selling them an extended warranty anyway.
Italy has decided that enough is enough and has threatened Apple with the temporary closure of its operations in Italy and with further fines of up to 300,000 euros if it does not offer customers a free two-year warranty as demanded by Italian law.
So far the AGCM competition and market authority has already imposed fines of 900,000 euros on divisions of Apple, which offers a paid technical support service, for failing to tell customers about their rights to free assistance.
Apple didn’t pay up and tried to appeal. When that failed it paid up and hoped that it would go away.
The AGCM said in its monthly bulletin that Apple was continuing to adopt unfair commercial practices in Italy and noted this could eventually lead to the closure of its Italian operations for up to 30 days.
Apple has a month to come up with a reason why it is treating Italians worse than the Spanish football team did.