In a Federal Court hearing today Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) agreed to pay $2.25 million to settle a legal case that accused the company of misleading the Australian public, according to The Australian. In March 2012, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission brought charges against the company, saying that Apple deliberately advertised its third-generation iPad as “WiFi and 4G compatible” despite knowing that the tablet didn’t support 4G network in Australia.
“The ACCC alleges that Apple’s recent promotion of the new ‘iPad with WiFi + 4G’ is misleading because it represents to Australian consumers that the product ‘iPad with WiFi + 4G’ can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, when this is not the case,” the ACCC wrote in a statement in March.
The settlement is yet to be approved by the Federal Court. The Australian reported that the Cupertino-based tech giant will pay the agreed amount to ACCC. Apple will also have to pay $300,000 to cover the ACCC’s court costs.
Last month Apple announced that it is ready to provide full refunds to any customer who felt misled by the company’s marketing and advertising. After the regulatory action in Australia, Apple re-labeled its iPad from “WiFi+4G” to “WiFi+Cellular” on May 9. The re-branding was also done in many other countries including Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, UK, USA, UAE, Vietnam and Hong Kong.
The Australian telecom operators Optus and Telstra responded much faster than Apple, after the issue came into limelight. They started informing their customers that the device doesn’t support 4G in Australia. A Telstra statement said: ““We’re making it clear to our customers that new iPad does not run on 4G LTE networks in Australia.”