The government of Brazil has asked
Apple to explain why the company charges for items in the iTunes
store in US dollars instead of Brazilian reals. The Consumer Protection Secretariat of the Brazilian ministry has given the company just ten days to respond to the query, which aims to find out whether Apple's practices are lawful or not.
Pricing products in anything but the local currency is against the law in Brazil. The Secretariat is also asking if the iTunes store complies with all online store regulations relating to consumer protection laws, which the company last updated in May, according to the Times of India
. If Apple fails to respond to the request within the ten days, it could receive a maximum fine of 6 million reals ($2.6 million).
Apple has had a rocky experience with Brazil thus far. In September, it won an appeal
allowing it to use the "iPhone" trademark in the country, after a local company sued for trademark infringement. It was sued by the Brazilian Institute of Politics and Law Informatics in February over "planned obsolescence
" and allegations of unfair business practices relating to the fourth-generation iPad. Even so, there are rumors that Apple will be opening its first Apple Store
in Rio de Janeiro by February or March of 2014.