ROME Apple Inc was threatened with the temporary closure of its operations in Italy and with further fines of up to 300,000 euros ($377,500) if it does not offer customers a free two-year warranty as demanded by Italian law.
Italy's AGCM competition and market authority has already imposed fines of 900,000 euros on divisions of Apple, which offers a paid technical support service, for failing to tell customers about their rights to free assistance.
But months after the previous fine, Apple has failed to comply with the antitrust request, the watchdog said. The company offers a free one-year guarantee scheme, which can be extended to two years on payment of a fee.
The AGCM said in its monthly bulletin that Apple was continuing to adopt unfair commercial practices in Italy and noted this could eventually lead to the closure of its Italian operations for up to 30 days.
The U.S. group has 30 days to respond.
The AGCM alleges that information provided by Apple about an extra guarantee scheme encourages customers to buy the service without clearly explaining that the company is obliged to offer a two-year free warranty, the source said.
Apple appealed against the Italian antitrust fine but lost in court earlier this year.
(Reporting by Gavin Jones; Editing by David Holmes)