Reports: DOJ, SEC probe Apple for slowing older iPhones


U.S. authorities are investigating Apple’s (AAPL) slowing of older iPhones, according to published reports.

The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are probing whether Apple violated securities laws. In December, Apple apologized for the slowdown after a blogger’s tests revealed the secretive practice.

Apple has previously been rebuked by lawmakers, and faces a French probe and a slew of lawsuits that allege the company aimed to juice sales of newer models.

After news broke late last year that Apple intentionally slowed down older iPhone models to save battery life, the company apologized and said it would reduce the price of a replacement battery to $29 from $79 for iPhone 6 and later models.

Apple in a statement said it “have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product.” Instead, the tech giant said batteries slowed down unexpectedly after an iOS upgrade year was introduced, although the upgrade was designed to stop unexpected shutdowns and extend battery life.

On Tuesday, Apple told Bloomberg News it has been contacted by government officials. “We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them,” an Apple spokeswoman told the publication. 

Apple shares fell 0.6 percent to close at $166.97 and are down 7 percent since Thursday. Wall Street is also worried about weak demand for its flagship iPhone X.

The Justice Department and SEC declined comment. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

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