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Samsung and Apple under investigation in Italy over planned obsolescence

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Samsung, and Apple, has now come under the spotlight in Italy in regards to the honesty and integrity of its approach to updates.

Italy’s antitrust body said on Thursday it had opened a probe into allegations that Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd used software updates to slow their mobile phones and push clients into buying new handsets.

According to Reuters, the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) says both companies executed “a general commercial policy taking advantage of the lack of certain components to curb the performance times of their products and induce customers to buy new versions.” This policy, says the watchdog, possibly infringes on several articles of Italy’s consumers’ code.

This follows on from the highly-reported on issue of whether Apple rolled out updates with a view to slowing down the performance of phones, and by association, as a means to effectively force consumers to upgrade to a newer model.



While there are already investigations ongoing with Apple, Italy today announced that along with its own Apple probe, it is also looking at Samsung with the suggestion the South Korean company has been doing the same. A result, the authority says, of “consumer reports” and its own “pre-trial activity.”

It said the U.S. and South Korean firms might have infringed four separate articles of the national consumers’ code.

Apple and Samsung are suspected of orchestrating “a general commercial policy taking advantage of the lack of certain components to curb the performance times of their products and induce consumers to buy new versions”, the watchdog said.

If proved to be the case, this along with the initial accusations could result in multiple article violations of Italy’s Consumer Code, according to the authority. The next step will involve a deeper investigation into the practices used by both companies. A process that has seemingly already begun with the AGCM confirming office inspections at both Samsung and Apple have already taken place.

This alleged infringement could cost Apple and Samsung millions of euros in fines, if both companies are found guilty.

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