Apple, Samsung being investigated in Italy for ‘planned obsolescence’

Apple and Samsung are under investigation by Italy’s antitrust organization for alleged “planned obsolescence” of their products.

A statement by the Autorit Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) — as noted by AppleInsider — launching the investigation cites consumer complaints of slower devices such as iPhones after operating system updates. The antitrust group will determine if the tech companies are introducing the updates intentionally to cripple phones, and force Italian citizens to buy new ones.

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Earlier this month a French prosecutor launched a preliminary investigation of Apple over alleged deception and planned obsolescence of its products following a complaint by a consumer organization, reports Reuters. The investigation will be led by French consumer fraud watchdog DGCCRF, part of the Economy Ministry.

The French watchdog’s preliminary investigation could take months, and depending on its findings, the case could be dropped or handed to a judge for an in-depth investigation. Under French law, companies risk fines of up to 5% of their annual sales for deliberately shortening the life of their products to spur demand to replace them.