Apple, Epson face French authorized complaints over allegedly shortening lifetime of merchandise

PARIS (Reuters) – Smartphone maker Apple (AAPL.O) and Japanese printer firm Epson (6724.T) are dealing with authorized complaints in France over allegedly dashing up the ageing means of their merchandise to stimulate demand.

A French client affiliation referred to as “HOP” — standing for “Cease Deliberate Obsolescence” — filed preliminary, authorized complaints in court docket in opposition to the 2 teams over the fees.

HOP mentioned it filed its criticism in opposition to Apple in Paris on Wednesday. A prosecutor opened an investigation into Epson final month, a judicial supply mentioned on Thursday, following a criticism filed in September by HOP in a court docket within the Paris suburb of Nanterre.

Laetitia Vasseur, co-founder of HOP, advised Reuters the intention of each complaints was to use the French client legislation, which was modified in 2015 to incorporate the notion of deliberate obsolescence.

Apple is already dealing with lawsuits in america over accusations of getting defrauded iPhone customers by slowing down gadgets with out warning to compensate for poor battery efficiency.

FILE PHOTO – Epson emblem is seen throughout preparations on the CeBit pc honest, which is able to open its doorways to the general public on March 20, on the fairground in Hanover, Germany, March 18, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

These lawsuits got here after Apple mentioned final week that working system updates launched since “final yr” for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 included a function “to easy out” energy provide from batteries which can be chilly, previous or low on cost.

Telephones with out the adjustment would shut down abruptly due to a precaution designed to stop elements from getting fried, Apple mentioned.

Underneath French legislation, firms danger fines of as much as 5 % of their annual gross sales for intentionally shortening the lifetime of their merchandise to spur demand to interchange them.

A spokeswoman for Epson France mentioned Epson denied the fees made in opposition to it by the HOP affiliation. She added that Epson was working with authorities on the matter and that the standard of its merchandise was of the utmost significance for the corporate.

Officers for Apple France couldn’t be instantly reached for remark.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Emmanuel Jarry and Gwenaelle Barzic; Enhancing by Mathieu Rosemain and David Evans

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