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Australian Judge Fines Apple More Than $2.2 M

Thursday Jun 21, 2012

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - An Australian judge fined Apple Inc. more than $2.2 million Thursday for misleading customers that its latest iPad was compatible with the next generation 4G broadband network.

Federal Court Justice Mordy Bromberg ruled the U.S. technology innovator misled the public for two months this year with claims in its advertising implying that the "iPad with WiFi + 4G," could connect directly to the Long Term Evolution mobile data network operated in Australia by the nation's dominant telecommunications carrier, Telstra Corp. It could not.

Bromberg fined Apple 2.25 million Australian dollars ($2.29 million) and ordered it pay AU$300,000 in costs for contravening consumer law.

Apple admitted to the misleading advertising.

The same "iPad with WiFi + 4G" advertising campaign was used worldwide, the judgment said.

"Apple's desire for global uniformity was given a greater priority than the need to ensure compliance with the Australian consumer law," the judge said. "Conduct of that kind is serious and unacceptable."

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