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Apple Antitrust Lawsuit Stumbles Through First Week

Apple Antitrust Lawsuit Loses Two Plaintiffs, Backup Plaintiffs Called In

The decade-old Apple antitrust class action lawsuit, against Apple, for forcing iPod users to exclusively use iTunes has hit some stumbling blocks in the first week, after two plaintiffs were dropped from the lawsuit, and the class action attorneys filed five replacement plaintiff suggestions.

Court documents related to the antitrust lawsuit accuse Apple of creating a monopoly between 2006 and 2009, because iPods would only play songs purchased through iTunes, and the digital music players would not play music purchased legally through other digital music stores.

The antitrust lawsuit, filed in 2005 and since modified, centers around iTunes software updates that plaintiffs claim limited their iPods’ ability to play music and sometimes deleted non-iTunes songs. The Apple antitrust lawsuit focuses on two updates to iTunes in 2006 and 2007 – versions 7.0 and 7.4, respectively. One of the updates reportedly “bricked” the user’s iPod if they tried to upload music from a store other than iTunes, forcing the devices had to be reformatted. Some claims specifically involve software company RealNetworks, who intentionally launched a music service in competition with iTunes, and contends that at least one of the updates was intended to prevent their specific software from functioning on an iPod.

The first plaintiff in the Apple antitrust lawsuit was dropped last week because she did not actually purchase an iPod within the 2006-2009 timeframe, which means her device could not have been bricked due to the updates in question. The second plaintiff was dropped a few days later because, although she had purchased two iPods during the correct time frame, she used a credit card belonging to her ex-husband’s law firm to purchase the iPods.  Apple’s attorneys therefore contended that the iPods were the property of the law firm, not the plaintiff.

The antitrust attorneys submitted five new plaintiffs on Monday, December 8th and Tuesday, December 9th. However, Apple’s attorneys requested that the antitrust lawsuit simply be thrown out, given the lack of lead plaintiffs.

Barbara Bennett, 65, appeared on Tuesday before the federal court in Oakland, California to discuss potentially becoming the lead plaintiff in the class action against Apple. She purchased an iPod in the correct time frame – 2006 – so that she would have something to listen to while she learned to ice skate. So far, Bennett appears to fit the criteria for the Apple antitrust lawsuit. However, the judge has put trial proceedings on hold for a few days while Apple’s attorneys investigate her history with the company’s products.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Antitrust Lawsuits

The Strom Law Firm LLC’s business litigation practice is focused on representing individuals, officers, directors, public companies, and private corporations involved in complex civil disputes.

We concentrate our resources and efforts on business and commercial litigation involving:

  • Breach of contract claims
  • Business fraud
  • Interference with business activities or unfair competition
  • Antitrust lawsuits/ price fixing allegations
  • Bank and lender liability
  • Insurance fraud and Securities Fraud
  • False Claims Act / “qui tam” whistleblower cases
  • Breach of warranty claims

When criminal charges arise, a South Carolina federal defense attorney at the Strom Law Firm, LLC will fight tirelessly to defend you against South Carolina antitrust violations. Founded in 1996 by a former US Attorney, we know what it takes to defend crimes not only on a state level, but also on a federal level as well. We are here to help you. Contact an experienced South Carolina federal antitrust defense attorney at the Strom Law Firm today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800




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