Italy’s competition authority is looking into charges that Apple and Samsung are surreptitiously slowing down old phones to push consumers into buying new products.

Consumer groups across the world have accused the two tech giants of so-called planned obsolescence, or hampering the performance of their old products, via software updates.

The AGCM watchdog said it opened two separate dossiers for “unfair commercial practice” against the tech giants, following complaints from consumers and a preliminary investigation from its own offices.

The authority’s move could potentially lead to Apple and Samsung being fined.

Apple apologised in December 2017 for deliberately slowing down some ageing iPhone models via software updates but said it did so in order to prolong battery life and not to force customers to upgrade.

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