Apple may not have to pay a $2.25 million (Australian dollar) fine for marketing its new iPad as “Wi-Fi + 4G” in the country because Apple provided refunds to customers who had bought the new iPad. However, a judge has requested financial data about the company that could lead it to be fined even more.
Alan Archibald, QC, acting for Apple, stated that because Apple had offered to provide refunds there was no loss to customers, and suggested that the $2.25 million fine should be reduced on this basis.
He said: “This is a case of absence of loss … whatever the level of sales, there cannot be loss because anybody concerned about it could reverse the acquisition,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The proposed fine is actually half of a potential $4.4 million fine which could be imposed on Apple.
Apple has already agreed to pay a $2.25m fine as well as $300,000 towards the ACCC's legal costs, but Federal Court judge Mordy Bromberg, who must approve the settlement, has requested information about the number of affected customers and Apple's total worth. He said: "I don't know whether we're talking about a corporation that makes $10m or $300m. How do I know that it (the penalty) is meaningful for Apple if you don't put before me any idea of what its financial position is?" reports The Australian.
The court will reconvene next Wednesday after Justice Bromberg has reviewed sales and financial data provided by Apple.
Apple admitted its new iPad was incompatible with Telstra's 4G networks despite being sold as the new iPad "with WiFi + 4G" but disputes the suggestion that it was wrong to market the device as compatible with 4G. Archibald told judge Mordy Bromberg: "There is a vast area that is controversial here."