The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are investigating tech giant Apple over its admission that it released an update designed to slow down older iPhones to improve performance, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.
The investigation reportedly centers around whether the company violated securities laws concerning the disclosure of the effects of the software update to consumers and investors.
A request for comment from Apple was not immediately answered.
Apple apologized in late December for the update, which slows older iPhones to compensate for decaying batteries, and announced that it would slash the fee for replacing a phone's battery.
“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize,” Apple's statement read. “There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.”
The company also faces a class-action lawsuit from customers who say the company misled and defrauded them.
“Rather than curing the battery defect by providing a free battery replacement for all affected iPhones, Apple sought to mask the battery defect,” reads the complaint.
Apple has faced years of speculation from consumers that it intentionally makes old phones obsolete to entice customers to purchase newer models.
Earlier this month, GOP Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Manchin-McConnell meet amid new voting rights push MORE (S.D.) sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, pressing the executive on why the company wasn't transparent about the update from the start.
“Even if Apple’s actions were indeed only to avoid unexpected shutdowns in older phones, the large volume of consumer criticism leveled against the company in light of its admission suggests that there should have been better transparency with respect these practices,” he wrote.