Apple has been fined €25 million ($27.3 million) by France’s Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) for intentionally slowing down older iPhones.
Towards the end of 2017, it was discovered that Apple was slowing down older iPhones. After being caught, the company acknowledged that it was doing this intentionally as a part of the power management feature built into iOS. This led to Apple receiving quite a bit of criticism and made the company the subject of a lot of public class action lawsuits and investigations from government bodies.
The criticism led Apple to announce a discounted battery replacement program for its older iPhones which was available for an entire year. This also led Apple to rework the power management on its newer iPhones.
The DGCCRF started investigating Apple for its behavior in 2018 at the request of the Halt Planned Obsolescence (HOP) association. That investigation has now concluded with Apple paying €25 million in fine to the consumer body. The company will also have to run a banner on its website for the next 30 days in France saying it had to settle its deceptive business behavior by paying a fine to the body.
The National Service of Investigations of the DGCCRF therefore transmitted to the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office in 2019 the conclusions of its investigations finding that this lack of consumer information constituted a misleading commercial practice by omission. With the agreement of the public prosecutor, the Apple group – which accepted it – was offered a transaction comprising the payment of the sum of € 25 million and the publication, for one month, of a press release on its website.
The French law does not allow for planned obsolescence and a company could be fined as much as 5% of their annual sales for this behavior.[Via DGCCRF, France24]