Australian Government Fines Apple for iPad Ads Claiming 4G Compatibility

According to a Financial Times report Apple has been fined AUS $2.25 million ($2.29 million USD) by the Australian government for falsely advertising that its new high definition iPad was compatible with high-speed 4G networks in the country.

Federal Court Justice Mordecai Bromberg said yesterday that the fine imposed on Apple is only the fifth fine ever levied against a company in the country under new consumer protection laws. The fine in question is specifically because Apple refused to adjust its advertising. According to Bromberg, the fine highlights the "seriousness of a company the size of Apple refusing to change its advertising."

"Apple’s admitted contraventions were not trivial,” Bromberg wrote in the ruling handed down yesterday. "Apple does not seek to deny the deliberateness of its conduct and there are no facts before me which seek to excuse or explain the conduct, other than that the conduct occurred at the behest of Apple’s parent company."

The fine is the result of Australia’s consumer and competition watchdog coming to the determination that the company violated consumer law by advertising that the new iPad was capable of running on 4G mobile networks using a sim card.

Apple’s newest iPad, uses 700 megahertz and 2,100MHz frequencies to connect with 4G LTE services but the country's only 4G operator Telstra uses a different frequency.

The Advertising Standards Authority launched an investigation after consumers complained, forcing Apple to eventually change its advertising and even offering refunds to customers who asked for one.

The ads ran in Australia from March 8 to May 12 and the government fined Apple because the company continued to run the ads after being notified that they might be a violation of consumer laws.

Source: Financial Times

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