When the new iPad debuted in Australia earlier this year, Apple caused some consternation by claiming it was a 4G device — even though it could only run on 3G networks in Australia. After some legal wrangling, Apple refunded anyone who wanted their money back, and changed the description of the device.
Now, we’re hearing reports that a judge has issued an AU$2.25 million (USD$2.29 million) fine to Apple for the brouhaha, which the company has already accepted. The charge of misleading the public over the 4G branding was brought about by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), and a few weeks ago that organisation and Apple agreed on the $2.25 million fine — and that number has now been ratified by a judge.
The ACCC released the following statement:
The $2.25 million penalty reflects the seriousness of a company the size of Apple refusing to change its advertising when it has been put on notice that it is likely to be misleading consumers.
The Federal Court has again recognized the need to protect consumers from misleading advertising in the telecommunications and related sectors. This decision should act as a renewed warning that the ACCC will continue to take action against traders who take risks in their advertising, regardless of their size.