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Apple agrees to settle iPhone throttling lawsuit for $113M

A woman explores an iPhone 6 at Apple's flagship store in Beijing on January 4, 2015. Apple was accused of throttling iPhone 6 devices after the battery began causing the devices to unexpectedly shut down. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
A woman explores an iPhone 6 at Apple's flagship store in Beijing on January 4, 2015. Apple was accused of throttling iPhone 6 devices after the battery began causing the devices to unexpectedly shut down. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Apple on Wednesday agreed to pay $113 million to settle a lawsuit brought by 33 states and Washington, D.C., accusing the company of intentionally slowing down speeds on older iPhones in order to increase sales of newer models.

A judge must still approve the agreement, which is separate from a class-action lawsuit in which Apple agreed to pay $500 million to iPhone owners in March. As part of Wednesday's proposed settlement, Apple admits no wrongdoing.

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The attorneys general took Apple to court after the company pushed an update to iPhone 6, 7 and SE devices in 2016 to throttle their speeds to prevent their aging batteries from causing them to unexpectedly shut down. States said Apple should have been transparent about the problem and offered to replace the batteries.

Instead, the states said Apple benefited from customers -- tired of slower, aging phones -- purchasing new model iPhones.

"This settlement should remind companies that they have a legal responsibility to provide clear and truthful information to their customers and to treat them fairly," Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine said. "When businesses do not live up to their obligations and violate consumer protection laws, state attorneys general will hold them accountable."

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Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said his state stands to receive $5 million in the settlement if approved.

"Big Tech companies must stop manipulating consumers and tell them the whole truth about their practices and products," he said. "I'm committed to holding these goliath technology companies accountable when they conceal important information from users."

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