Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said Tuesday that the
European Commission must take a larger role to monitor consumer protection laws, citing Apple's misleading commercial warranties
as an example.
Apple was fined by the Italian authorities for misleading advertising of their commercial warranties and for not respecting the legal guarantee of 2 years to which consumers are entitled under EU law.
The case is still on-going and law suits against the company have recently been filed by consumer associations in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal, while a collective action against the company started last October in Italy.
Last September Reding wrote to consumer ministers about this case encouraging them to take appropriate action.
"The approaches to enforcement turn out to be very diversified and inconsistent at a national level. In at least 21 EU countries Apple is not informing consumers correctly about the legal warranty rights they have. This is simply not good enough," Reding said.
"I believe that the Commission has to take a more prominent role in monitoring and coordinating coherent enforcement of EU consumer rules by the Member States. A more proactive approach can also be a rather efficient way of dealing with emerging commercial practices, for example, the use of on-line price comparison or customer review tools," she said.