Apple and Samsung are the world’s two leading manufacturers of smartphones, but both have come under fire from the Italian government in 2018.
L’Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM), the consumer protection authority in Italy, has opened an investigation to see whether the companies intentionally slowed down their older phones to coax customers into buying new ones, according to The Washington Post.
AGCM explained in a statement on its website that initially, this investigation was prompted by customer reports that their Apple and/or Samsung phones were slowing down. The organization conducted some preliminary research to verify these claims and found that both Apple and Samsung had exploited flaws in their phones’ components that would diminish their performance and encourage owners to buy new devices.
Neither company has admitted any wrongdoing. Samsung, for its part, has denied the accusation.
“Samsung does not provide the software updates to reduce the product performance over the life cycle of the device,” the company said in a statement.
Apple, meanwhile, declined to comment on this particular investigation. Historically, though, the company has maintained that it doesn’t slow down old phones with the aim of selling new ones.
AGCM has a history with both smartphone manufacturers. In 2012, it had a run-in with Apple over its AppleCare warranty program; the company allegedly wasn’t being clear about what perks customers were paying for. Likewise, Samsung has been fined by AGCM for using unclear language about advertising promotions.
In Apple’s case, this legal issue in Italy is not an isolated incident, as the company has come under fire all over the world. In addition to the AGCM trouble, the American tech giant is facing over a dozen consumer lawsuits across the United States, Australia, Israel, and elsewhere. Additionally, a similar consumer advocate group in South Korea has filed a complaint against Apple.