In case seeing featureless, flop-sweating Mark Zuckerberg testify in front of Congress this week convinced you that tech fraud is a uniquely American issue, take a moment to look to Israel, where another tech giant is facing massive trouble this week.
The Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Authority, a division of the Israeli Economic Ministry, announced that they would be opening an investigation of Apple Israel. The investigation stems from the December revelation that Apple had been slowing down phones by providing software updates in order to make decaying batteries last longer. That slowdown arguably often led consumers to buy new iPhones.
The investigation, announced on Wednesday, follows a $125 million class action lawsuit filed in Israel back in December. Four similar lawsuits were filed in the U.S.
The lawsuit accuses Apple of having “a clear interest in hiding the information from users because it would prefer they replace old iPhones with new ones as soon as possible.”
While Israel is far from Apple’s largest market, its iPhones have a nearly 20 percent market share in the Jewish state, and if the company is found guilty of this violation it would likely face millions of dollars in fines. Apple also employs hundreds in its Israeli research and development center which, according to reports, is focused on Augmented Reality, a major priority for the company. No word yet on how the recent investigation might impact Apple’s Israeli interests.
Jesse Bernstein is a former Intern at Tablet.