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Apple faces Italian shutdown over warranty skulduggery

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Apple is facing a shutdown of its Italian operations by competition authorities over repeated flouting of that country's consumer-protection laws.

Italian law states that consumer electronics devices must be sold with a two-year free warranty, and that the seller has an obligation to inform buyers of this fact. Apple is accused of not only failing to tell customers about the free deal, but also of trying to sell them an AppleCare Protection Plan which offers similar coverage – but for a fee.

The Italian authorities have already slapped Cupertino with a €900,000 fine over the issue, but now the authorities have threatened to close all Apple stores in the country for 30 days and impose an additional €300,000 in fines, Reuters reports.

In January, Apple confirmed it was appealing the original fine, €400,000 of which comes for not offering the two-year warranty and €500,000 for signing up people to their protection racket AppleCare service. This appeal was denied in May, and Apple was ordered to open its capacious wallet and sort out the fine.

However, after over a month and still no sign of funds entering the Italian government's nearly empty coffers, the competition authorities are now playing hardball. In its latest update, the authorities are now threatening the temporary closure of all Apple stores, as well as an additional €300,000 in punitive sanctions.

Apple has 30 days to respond before action is taken against it. ®

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