UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In the Matter of
APPLE COMPUTER, INC., a corporation.
The Federal Trade Commission, having reason to believe that Apple Computer, Inc., a corporation ("Apple" or "respondent"), has violated the provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act, and it appearing to the Commission that a proceeding by it in respect thereof would be in the public interest, alleges:
1. Respondent Apple is a California corporation with its principal office or place of business at One Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California 95014.
2. Respondent has manufactured, advertised, labeled, offered for sale, sold, and distributed personal computers, printers, scanners and other computer products to the public. From approximately September 1, 1992, until approximately April 1, 1996, Apple promised United States purchasers of these products that live, toll-free technical support would be available at no charge for as long as the purchaser owned the product.
3. The acts and practices of respondent alleged in this complaint have been in or affecting commerce, as "commerce" is defined in Section 4 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
4. Respondent has disseminated or has caused to be disseminated advertisements for Macintosh personal computers, Apple printers and Apple scanners, including but not necessarily limited to the attached Exhibits A through D. These advertisements contain the following statements and depictions:
[Exhibit B (Special advertising section insert: "A Parent's Guide to Computers.")]
[Exhibit C (Product insert: "Apple Resource Guide")]
[Exhibit D (In-Box Registration Card)]
5. Through the means described in Paragraph 4, respondent has represented, expressly or by implication, that a consumer purchasing an Apple product would have toll-free telephone access to Apple technical support personnel, at no charge, for as long as the consumer owned the product.
6. In truth and in fact, consumers purchasing Apple products between approximately September 1, 1992, and April 1, 1996, did not have toll-free telephone access to Apple technical support personnel, at no charge, for as long as they owned the product. In October, 1997, Apple began charging these consumers a fee for access to Apple technical support personnel. Therefore, the representation set forth in Paragraph 5 was, and is, false or misleading.
7. The acts and practices of respondent as alleged in this complaint constitute unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce in violation of Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
THEREFORE, the Federal Trade Commission this day of , , has issued this complaint against respondent.
By the Commission.
Donald S. Clark