We've all been there—a phone that was snappy and stable becomes dramatically less so after the OEM releases a slapdash update. Italian authorities have investigated Samsung and Apple for the way they develop and deploy updates to older phones. As a result, Samsung has to pay a €5 million fine, and Apple's is double that.
This announcement stretches back to January, which is when Italy started investigating both firms for antitrust violations. The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) wanted to know if either company was intentionally sending out bad updates to encourage upgrades. The report doesn't go that far, but the AGCM did find Samsung and Apple violated several consumer protection laws. For Apple, it was that battery throttling issue. Samsung is accused of shoddy work with a Note 4 update.
Samsung rolled out a Marshmallow update to the Note 4 in 2016, but the software was originally developed with the Note 7 in mind. The Note 4 incessantly pestered users to install the update, and they were not pleased with the results. Note 4 owners have long claimed that this update trashed the phone, which became unusably slow and only lasted a few hours on a charge. Since it was out of warranty, they had to pay for replacements.
Samsung hasn't responded to the fine, but it often gets heat for being slow with updates. Importantly, the report doesn't prove malicious intent from Samsung. It may simply have been unable to properly optimize the update but still wanted to roll out the new version of Android. Perhaps Samsung will take the balancing act more seriously in the future.