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Apple's warranty ads should be investigated, EU says

The EU Justice Commissioner says that the way Apple advertises its product warranties may be "unacceptable" and should be examined by the European Union.

Europe's Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has written to EU member states asking them to examine the way Apple has been advertising its product warranties, according to Bloomberg.

Reding believes that the iPad and iPhone maker may be not be properly informing customers in the European Union's 27 member states that they're entitled to a minimum two-year warranty for products under European law.

According to a copy of the letter sent to EU ministers and obtained by Bloomberg, Reding wrote:

Apple prominently advertised that its products come with a one-year manufacturer warranty but failed to clearly indicate the consumers' automatic and free-of-cost entitlement to a minimum two-year guarantee under EU law. These are unacceptable marketing practices.

While Apple sets out its obligations under European consumer law on its Web site, Reding's concern is that customers may well not be aware of the two-year warranty they are entitled to in Europe and that Apple retailers may not be doing enough to let them know about it.

Not only can countries be taken to court if consumer protection is not enforced, but a variety of sanctions can be imposed on companies should they fail to uphold their obligations under EU law.

Last year, Apple was found to be in breach of European law in by an Italian regulator, and was fined 900,000 euros ($1.2 million) for "misleading" customers over warranty rights.

CNET has reached out to both the Commission and Apple for comment, and will update the article with their responses, if any are received.