A long-running dispute between Italy’s consumer protection agency and Apple(s AAPL) over warranties appears to be over, but Italy’s not letting Apple get away without yet another fine. On Friday, the country’s Competition and Market Guarantor Authority (AGCM) announced that it will fine Apple 200,000 euros (about $264,000) for violating consumer laws even though the company has changed its policies, as noted by The Next Web.
Obviously a quarter of a million dollars or so is nothing to Apple, which has about $120 billion in the bank. But this episode does signify the end of this strange saga wherein Apple — for a while — refused to budge on selling AppleCare, its premium warranty service, to customers in Italy without telling them that Italian law requires two years of standard warranty coverage for all consumer products for free. Italian regulators were unusually aggressive in the law’s enforcement, fining Apple nearly a million euros already over the issue.
The additional fine is being levied for Apple’s non-compliance with the law between March and November 2012.
Even after being slapped with the first fine a year ago, Apple continued to sell AppleCare in its stores in Italy and on its website. Then the European Union said it would start to look into Apple’s practice selling AppleCare in other countries in Europe that have similar consumer protection laws as Italy. In November, Apple finally complied with the Italian agency’s demands and stopped selling AppleCare warranties in Apple Stores in the country.