Apple may have gotten on the nerves of the antitrust authority of Italy after the tech giant was slammed with a €10 million (US$12 million) fine for allegedly misleading consumers over its marketing of iPhones as "water-resistant."

Apple may have crossed swords with the Italian Competition Authority, Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM), as the latter levied a €10 million or $12 million fine against the tech giant due to claims that it misled the consumers by marketing the iPhone as water-resistant, reported Apple Insider. The levy was made against Apple Italia SRL and Apple Distribution International over two commercial practices.

The anti-trust agency questioned the marketing of the iPhone 8 until it reached the iPhone 11, as these devices were the ones marketed as "water-resistant." The tech giant was accused of not properly clarifying to its consumers that there are certain conditions where the feature of being "water-resistant" will work. They are saying that the company should have said that the test was done in a controlled lab and the water used was static and pure water.

The company initially advertised the iPhones as those that can withstand water. The depths that the phone can successfully operate in was from 1 meter up to 4 meters. The company marketed the effective duration of the phone underwater at 30 minutes.

Aside from the alleged false marketing of the iPhones' water-resistant capability, AGCM also criticised the tech giant for saying that the iPhone warranty does not cover water damage, despite having marketed the phone as being water-resistant.

The Verge said that the latest fine that Apple had to deal with from the AGCM came only a little over two years after it also fined Apple together with Samsung. Back then, the Italian agency accused both tech companies of throttling older devices with updates on their software. Apple was fined with €10 million for violations regarding throttling and for allegedly not giving their customers sufficient information about their batteries.

iPhone lawsuit
Italy fines Apple for "misleading" consumers on water-resistant devices. Photo: Pixabay

In the present fine levied against Apple, the antitrust authority of Italy said that it was inappropriate for the tech company to refuse offering its consumers warranty assistance for liquid damages following the sales of the "water-resistant" iPhones. They said that the refusal to offer a warranty was deemed to be hindering the rights of their consumers.