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France investigates Apple for slowing down old iPhones

FILE - In this Sept.19, 2014 file photo, a customer checks the iPhone 6, in Paris. A French prosecutor office said Tuesday Jan.9, 2018 an investigation into Apple over alleged planned obsolescence of some of its smartphones has been opened. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

French prosecutors have opened an investigation into Apple over revelations it secretly slowed down older versions of its handsets.

The Paris prosecutor's office said Tuesday a probe was opened last week and is led by the French body in charge of fraud control, which is part of the finance ministry.

It follows a legal complaint filed in December by a French consumer rights group that aims to stop intentional obsolescence of goods by companies.

In France it is illegal to intentionally shorten the lifespan of a product in order to encourage customers replace it.

Apple apologized in December for secretly slowing down older iPhones, a move it said was necessary to avoid unexpected shutdowns related to battery fatigue.

Lawsuits against the company have been filed in the U.S. and Israel.

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