The ruling is thought to be the first of its kind in Europe, with both companies receiving the maximum fine possible under Italy’s antitrust laws

Apple and Samsung have been found guilty of "dishonest commercial practices" by Italy’s antitrust watchdog, receiving fines of €10 million and €5 million respectively. The pair were accused of deliberately slowing down older models of their flagship smartphones, in an attempt to encourage users to upgrade to newer models.

IPhone and Galaxy users have long complained that their handsets were being deliberately sabotaged by the companies’ campaign of planned obsolescence.

A report by the Italian watchdog said that firmware updates were responsible for sabotaging the performance of the handset in a manner that was designed to render them obsolete.

"[Installing operating system updates] caused serious malfunctions and significantly reduced performance, thus accelerating phones’ substitution," it said.

Both firms receive the maximum fine allowable under Italian law – €5 million. Apple was also find for failing to disclose crucial information to its customers regarding the life expectancy of the battery it used in its IPhone 6 model.

Earlier this year, Apple admitted to slowing down older phones through its IOS updates, claiming that it was intended to mitigate battery drain in aging phones, rather than as an attempt to force IPhone users to upgrade to the latest handset.

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