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Apple Sued For $200M In EU Over Allegations It Deliberately Slowed Down iPhones To Mask Battery Issues

Benzinga logo Benzinga 12/2/2020 Shivdeep Dhaliwal
© Provided by Benzinga Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been sued by a consumer advocacy group in Europe over allegations that the company deliberately slowed down iPhones, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

What Happened: Euroconsumers — the advocacy group — is suing the Tim Cook-led company for $217.4 million (EUR 180 million) in class action suits in Belgium and Spain. It is also planning suits in Italy and Portugal in the coming weeks, according to FT.

“Apple pushed updates to mask problems with the battery, knowing it would slow down phones,” said Els Bruggeman, Euroconsumers head of policy and enforcement.

Bruggeman said European consumers “just want to be treated with the same respect that was given to consumers in the United States.”

The claims of the group relate to three million iPhone 6, iPhone 7 and iPhone SE units sold in the four countries, between 2014 and 2020, as per FT.

Apple told FT that its goal was to create products that customers love and “iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”

Why It Matters: Class action suits do not exist on a continent-wide basis but individual filings in the countries could lead to a “snowball effect,” according to Bart Volders, a lawyer representing plaintiffs in Belgium, FT reported.

In March, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant settled a $500 million lawsuit in the U.S. that alleged it slowed down older iPhone models so as to encourage users to purchase new phones or replacement batteries.

France’s competition authorities have fined Apple $27 million (EUR 25 million) over similar allegations, as per the BBC.

Last month, the iPhone maker agreed to settle allegations with 33 U.S. states for $113 million related to the deliberate slowing down of its smartphones.

Price Action: Apple shares closed nearly 3.1% higher at $122.72 on Tuesday and fell almost 0.3% in the after-hours session.


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