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Belgian judge mulled BANNING APPLE (actually, its website) in Euro warranty row

Tech titan accused of screwing around with guarantee laws

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A judge in Belgium, who asked ISPs to banish Apple from the Euro nation's internet over a dispute with the firm's warranty terms, is now weighing up other sanctions, it's reported.

According to Dutch-language newspaper De Morgen, an investigative magistrate wrote to broadband providers in the country asking them to block subscribers' access to the fruity firm's websites. That request was fired off last year, but it emerged today that the plea was ultimately snubbed: now the beak is mulling other punishments.

The judge is concerned that Apple is not obeying Europe-wide laws on warranties: Apple offers a one-year warranty on its gear as standard, but Euro regulations state that the US giant should provide a two-year guarantee as a minimum on new electronic goods.

Apple fans on the Continent have to buy Applecare to extend their warranty to a two-year period.

The magistrate has since decided he'd rather not boot Apple off the Belgian internet, it's reported, because doing so would unfairly derail the online iTunes store, block access to support forums, and have other consequences for punters.

Apple's policy on warranties is rather confusing. It says customers can take advantage of both the statutory two-year warranty, as well as the Apple one-year warranty.

In 2011, the fruity firm was fined more than $1 million by an Italian judge who ruled the Cupertino giant's warranty policy was unclear.

Apple has not replied to our request for comment. ®

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