EU sniffing around Apple’s ‘unacceptable’ 1-year warranty practice

The European Union is looking into whether Apple(s AAPL) is meeting the body’s consumer warranty protection standards. The head of the EU’s Justice Commission has recently written to member countries to ask whether Apple has properly been advertising EU shoppers’ right to a two-year warranty with purchase of its products, according to a Bloomberg report Monday. This is not the first time Apple has run afoul of this particular law in Europe.

According to the report Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said this to member nations:

‘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,’ Reding said to ministers in the letter, which was obtained by Bloomberg News. ‘These are unacceptable marketing practices.’

This is an issue that goes back at least a year in Europe. Italy has been the most aggressive about enforcing this law against Apple: It has fined the company for only advertising a free one-year warranty when selling iPhones, iPads and other electronics to customers, and for selling additional warranty coverage through AppleCare without notifying buyers in the country that they have a legal right to free, two-year protection.

Earlier this summer, the Italian government threatened to shut down Apple’s operations within the country if it failed to pay the fines and comply with the law. It doesn’t appear Apple has taken steps to address the issue publicly. But now the issue threatens to grow far larger than just Italy as the European Union’s legal arm appears ready to get involved.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.