blog From the Department of Technology-related Parking Fines comes the news that Apple has agreed to pay $2.25 million in penalties to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for falsely marketing its new iPad tablet as being capable of 4G mobile broadband speeds in Australia.
Most of the nation’s major technology media outlets have reported the news from the Federal Court this morning; including The Australian, The Financial Review, ZDNet.com.au, iTNews and so on. However, according to SBS, the matter may not be settled as quickly as the ACCC and Apple might like. The media outlet reported today:
“Justice Bromberg said there were three matters on which he would like more information … the financial position of Apple, the number of sales of its new iPad, and the difference between Telstra’s 3G network and the 4G network.”
To your writer, a $2.2 million fine appears fairly ridiculous in the larger context of the issue, given the fact that Apple made some $4.88 billion in revenue from Australia in the past financial year. $2.2 million, in that context is less than a blip on Apple’s radar; and it’s certainly not a disincentive to do the same thing again. We’re talking about pocket change here.
However, as I’ve previously also written, there have been questions raised about this issue from the start of the legal process. Why, for instance, is the ACCC still pursuing Apple over the issue, when Apple has already agreed to give anyone who complains about its new iPad (of which we expect there will be almost nobody) a refund, and modified its 4G marketing materials quickly, as soon as it became apparent the wording was an issue? The whole issue seems like the regulator is making a mountain out of a molehill. I think Apple is probably being too nice to the ACCC on this one, in agreeing to pay a fine at all. Perhaps the amount it’s agreed to be fined is merely less than the cost of its legal team having to seriously fight the case.
Image credit: Apple