Apple disagrees with Italian regulators who are threatening the company with the closure of its Italian operation and fines, due to claims that it must offer a free two-year warranty.

Apple told Reuters: "We have appealed the recent decision of the (Italian) court as it was, in our view, based upon an incorrect interpretation of the law. We have introduced a number of measures to address the Italian competition authority concerns and we disagree with their latest complaint."

Back in April we reported that Apple had updated its website with details of European warranties that allow for the repair of products for up to two years after purchase, to bring the company into line with European law. Following our report of that story, Apple called us to clarify that the company believed that it was meeting the demands of the Italian court.

As outlined on the Apple website, the company offers a free one-year guarantee. This can be extended to two or three years with AppleCare (depending on the product). The two year warranty allowed by Italian law is also available, as indicated on the Apple website, but Apple makes it clear that this doesn’t include full cover in the way that AppleCare does. The distinction being between defects arising after delivery, and defects present when taking delivery.

On its website Apple says: “When you purchase Apple products, European Union consumer law provides statutory warranty rights in addition to the coverage you receive from the Apple One-Year Limited Warranty and the optional AppleCare Protection Plan.”

However, the Italian courts could still force Apple to close down its retail operations in Italy, and fine it a total of 120,000 euros, according to reports. The company has 30 days to respond to the complaint.