Italy’s competition authority fined Apple €10 million for misleading promotion of the level of water resistance across several iPhone models and subsequent refusal to deal with handsets damaged by liquids under its warranties.

In a statement, AGCM accused Apple of “aggressive commercial practices” related to honouring aftersales support for handsets defective due to water damage, alongside slamming what it deemed unclear marketing on the level of resistance offered.

For the seven iPhone models cited in the complaint, the regulator said although Apple advertised the devices were resistant for a maximum depth of between one metre and four metres (depending on the model) for up to 30 minutes, it had failed to qualify the claim sufficiently.

It added “the messages did not clarify that this property is found only in the presence of specific conditions, for example during specific and controlled laboratory tests with the use of static and pure water, and not in the normal conditions of use of the devices by consumers”.

AGCM also found a disclaimer in Apple’s guarantee about damage caused by liquids could deceive customers, given the vendor’s “emphatic advertising boast of water resistance”, and not contextualising the limitations of its claims.

In addition to the fine, Apple is required to publish clarifications on the issue in the information section of its local website.