THE US GOVERNMENT is reportedly investigating whether Apple violated securities laws with its iPhone-throttling software updates.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) have requested information from Apple over the way it disclosed information about the update, Bloomberg reports, over concerns that the company may have misled investors about the performance of older phones.
However, the report, which cites 'people familiar with the matter,' notes that the inquiry is still in its "early stages" and notes that it's as yet unclear whether any enforcement will follow.
Apple, which back in December admitted that it throttles iPhones to prevent processors from demanding too much power from older Lithium-ion battery packs, said in a statement to Bloomberg that it has "received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them".
The Apple spokesperson added: "We have never - and would never - do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades."
This isn't the only backlash Apple is facing for its throttling of older iPhones 6, 6S and SE handsets.
In France, pro-consumer group Stop Planned Obsolescence (HOP) filed a complaint against the firm alleging that it "deliberately" slowed down some iPhone models through a software update and did so to coincide with the release of the newer iPhone 8 and iPhone X.
Under French law, it is a crime to intentionally shorten the lifespan of a product with the aim of making customers replace it. Companies found guilty of doing so risk fines of up to five per cent of their annual sales.
Apple is also facing a grilling from regulators in China and has been hit by a trio of lawsuits in the US where plaintiffs are arguing that the firm failed to inform them about the processor throttling and that such enforced slowdowns were unethical and deceptive. µ
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