Apple has pulled its AppleCare warranty product from store shelves in Italy following scrutiny over the company's compliance with local consumer protection laws.
Reuters reports that Apple last week removed the product from its retail stores, and stopped providing it to its own resellers in the country. Nonetheless, the product can still be purchased from Apple's online store in the country, with mention that the paid plan adds "benefits" to the two years local buyers get under the Consumer Code.
Last December, Apple was(then $1.2 million) fine for allegedly encouraging customers to purchase AppleCare, its technical support and extended warranty service. Under the aforementioned Italian law, the country requires companies to offer two years of technical support to product buyers, which is the same amount of time Apple's paid-for product offered.
Following that fine, Apple was required toon its sales Web site.
The AppleCare service, which runs anywhere from $29 to $349 depending on what Apple product you're buying, has long been one of Apple's main differentiators from its competitors. The company's add-on warranty service gives users a way to have their gadgets repaired by phone and in the company's retail stores. Alongside the iPhone 4S last year, Apple extended that service to include coverage for accidental damage with its AppleCare+ service.