Apple faces $2.25m fine for iPad 4G claims

Jun 12, 2012 7:40 AM
Filed under Communications

Case settlement nears.

Apple could pay a penalty of up to $2.25 million for advertising the latest iPad as a 4G-capable device under a settlement with the Australian competition watchdog.

The consumer electronics giant reportedly asked presiding Justice Mordecai Bromberg last week in the Federal Court in Melbourne to accept its proposed settlement with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

In addition to the penalties, Apple would also contribute $300,000 to the ACCC's legal costs.

An Apple spokeswoman confirmed the company would accept the settlement, pending acceptance next week by Justice Bromberg.

It would settle the first of a growing number of global cases against Apple for allegedly misleading consumers about the capabilities of the third-generation iPad.

The tablet works on specific LTE networks in the US and Canada, marketed as 4G, but not on those available in Australia, Europe and elsewhere.

Apple had agreed to change the branding on mobile broadband-capable versions of the tablet to say "Wi-Fi + Cellular", while allowing customers who felt slighted by the advertising to return the tablet for a full refund.

The company reportedly refused to disclose in public the number of customers who had returned the tablet since April.

However, the watchdog still sought penalties from Apple for the issue.

The Age reported that Apple legal counsel Alan Archibald QC, asked the presiding judge to decrease the fine imposed on it, but said there was "no question at all about [Apple's] financial capacity to meet the penalty".

 
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