The investigation, confirmed to AFP by a legal source on Thursday, was opened in November and is being led by anti-trust and consumer protection specialists in the French economy ministry under the instruction of prosecutors in the Nanterre suburb of Paris.
It comes after a complaint by the association Stop Planned Obsolescence (HOP or Halte a l’Obsolescence Programmee) which filed a case against printer makers Epson, HP, Brother and Canon in September alleging they were tricking consumers into replacing ink cartridges before they were empty.
The group filed a separate complaint on Wednesday against Apple after the US tech giant admitted earlier this month that it intentionally slowed down older models of its iPhones over time.
Reacting to news of the Epson probe, the pro-recycling association called it “very good news.”
“For the first time in France and to our knowledge in the world, judicial authorities of a country have taken up a …