Apple agrees to pay Australian consumer commission $2.25 million over iPad 4G claims

Thu, Jun 14, 2012


When Apple released its latest iPad a few months ago, one of its more heavily touted features, aside from the Retina Display, was its support of 4G LTE networks.

The only rub, though, was that the iPad was 4G if you happened to reside in North America.

You defnititely wanted to read the fine print before picking up the new iPad if you lived abroad and had a thing for 4G, but the fine print wasn’t good enough for Australian regulators who were quick to accuse Apple of misrepresenting the device’s wireless capabilities by including the “4G” phrase in its advertising materials.

As a result, Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) filed suit against Apple accusing the Cupertino-based company of violating Australian consumer Law.

Apple of course defended its use of the 4G terminology while asserting that Australia’s 4G networks were improperly labled, not Apple’s own advertising materials – a fight which of course centers on what exactly can be considered 4G. Apple also claimed that its advertising materials sufficiently indicated that the iPad was not compatible with Australia’s 4G LTE network.

Now, a few months later, the saga has een resolved with Apple agreeing to pay the Australian consumer rights group $2.25 million, an ammount that ACCC representative Colin Golvan described as “substantial” and one he hoped would help deter others from making similar claims.

The Cupertino-based firm told a Federal Court hearing today that it has agreed the pay-out, after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) brought charges against it in March. The watchdog claimed that Apple deliberately advertised the 4G compatibility despite knowing that the third-generation tablet did not support LTE networks in the country.

The settlement is yet to get final approval from the judge but, if granted, the payout will bring to a close the long-running issue that has dogged the new iPad’s arrival in Australia.

Apple will also reportedly take care of the Commission’s court costs which amount to about $300,000.

via The Next Web



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