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In Australia, Apple Fined $2.5 Million For '4G' Advertising Claims 154

Posted by timothy
from the we-thought-this-island-was-for-crime dept.
Whiney Mac Fanboy writes "Apple has agreed to pay a $2.25 million (AUD) fine (along with 300k legal costs) to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission for misleading advertising. Apple misrepresented their iPad product as being a '4G' device, when in fact they're only compatible with a very small percentage of 4G networks around the world. The Age online has the full story."
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In Australia, Apple Fined $2.5 Million For '4G' Advertising Claims

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08, 2012 @06:59PM (#40264397)

    10 minutes of iPad sales?

  • Loosing fans (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08, 2012 @07:16PM (#40264511)

    "This piece of plastic wont work on our networks?"

    I doubt it's the kind of advertising they either wanted or needed frankly. That being said it is their own fault and they deserve every lick the ACCC feels like giving them, certainly very few/if any people in the Australian community are supporting them in this, even the most rabid applebois that I know were saying that Apple was pretty stupid with their actions. That they are trying to block the galaxy s3 here also hasn't made them very many friends either.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08, 2012 @07:22PM (#40264543)

    >Apple has agreed to pay a $2.25m fine and $300,000 towards the ACCC's legal costs but Federal Court judge Mordy Bromberg, who must approve the settlement, questioned why there was no information for him about the number of affected customers and Apple's total worth.

    >"I don't know whether we're talking about a corporation that makes $10m or $300m," he said. "How do I know that it (the penalty) is meaningful for Apple if you don't put before me any idea of what its financial position is?"

    From the article you linked, which suggests the judge is saying, "we are going to smack these folks around, and love it, but are we smacking them around hard enough, maybe you should raise the bar ACCC or tell me why we are only going this hard then i'll let them off light."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08, 2012 @07:38PM (#40264637)

    Socialist paradise

    Immigrating recently from Europe in Australia, I can tell you Australia isn't at any rate a socialist country, much less a paradise for socialists.

  • by ATMAvatar (648864) on Friday June 08, 2012 @08:00PM (#40264797) Journal

    No, it's a rational observation that a fine must be meaningful to a corporation for it to have any hope of affecting change.

    If the fine is too small (as fines generally are), it is dismissed as a simple cost of business. The immediate problem is remedied (so as not to piss off the authoritative body that caught them), but similar problems are guaranteed to arise again in the future. After all, if it wasn't profitable to break the law in the first place, the company wouldn't have done it. If the fine is going to be a small fraction of that profit each time, the smart business decision is to continue the practice of doing something which breaks the law, preparing for the inevitable "whoops - we'll fix that, your honor" for when someone catches on, and milking the ill-gotten profits until then.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08, 2012 @08:08PM (#40264845)

    We have 4G LTE, they sell and advertise the product as 4G but it will never run on a 4G network in this country.

    As far as it being a slap on the wrist, the judge seems to agree and has suggested that numbers need to be provided so that he can make the fine meaningful for apple.

    BTW Consumer protection laws, don't you guys try to stop snake oil salespeople on your side of the ditch, or do you prefer to just let them roll with it?

  • by Kalriath (849904) on Friday June 08, 2012 @08:45PM (#40265115)

    This is a consumer protection organisation. They don't give a fuck about your pedantic nitpicking. Australia has 4G* LTE networks. The iPad was advertised as supporting 4G* LTE networks. The iPad did not support Australia's 4G* LTE networks. Ergo, the iPad did not support 4G* LTE networks. End of story. The CONSUMER protection organisation should not have to give a fuck about whether it supports 4G* LTE somewhere else, the question is, could the advertising be expected to give a consumer a reasonable belief that it would work with their 4G* LTE service. The answer is yes, so Apple broke the law. That you believe this is somehow OK for Apple to market in such a misleading way is telling of how little your government protects your consumers, and how brainwashed your consumers are by your corporations.

    * Whether LTE is actually 4G is not addressed by this post, and is beside this point for the purposes of this discussion.

  • by bloodhawk (813939) on Friday June 08, 2012 @09:46PM (#40265461)
    Actually you have it backwards. There is a 4G standard definition for the rest of the world, then there is the US/Canada. Australia is not the odd one out here.
  • by WillKemp (1338605) on Saturday June 09, 2012 @01:52AM (#40266615) Homepage

    He probably does know. But he can't make a judgement based on what he "knows", only on the evidence that's been placed before him during the case. That's how the law works.

  • by toriver (11308) on Saturday June 09, 2012 @02:01AM (#40266659)

    You cannot pay fines with "market cap". It's not actual money.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.

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