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Antitrust issues surface with iTunes lawsuit

updated 08:50 pm EST, Wed January 5, 2005

iTunes lawsuit

Apple is , alleging that the company broke antitrust laws by only allowing iTunes to work with its own iPod music player. Court filing showed that that the customer says the system freezes out competitors, according to Reuters: "The suit was filed on Monday in the U.S. District Court in San Jose. One antitrust expert called it a long shot, but Californian Thomas Slattery is hoping for unspecified damages for being 'forced' to buy an iPod, one of the most successful electronics products in years. The key to such a lawsuit would be convincing a court that a single product brand like iTunes is a market in itself separate from the rest of the online music market, according to Ernest Gellhorn, an antitrust law professor at George Mason University. There is legal precedent for such claims, but courts usually conclude competing products as viable alternatives, Gellhorn said."




by MacNN Staff

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  1. MacnTX

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Geez...

    Can you say frivolous lawsuit? I knew you could.

  1. Spybreak

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    oh god..

    stupid people shouldnt be allowed near computers.

  1. dashiel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    i really wish...

    that america had some sort of statute that would force people filing lawsuits to pay if they lose (i know it'll never work as it will scare off people with legit claims against big companies).

    still this is absurd. monopoly? last i checked i can purchase downloadable music from about a couple of dozen music stores. forced to buy an ipod? what about a burning a CD? seems to me there are dozens of those on the market too.

    oh and little bear "forced" to buy an ipod. if he felt that chagrin at being forced to buy something he didn't want, why not just buy a dell dj (heresy i know) and use the money he saved to re-purchase all those itunes tracks? i doubt someone that worried about being "forced" to buy an ipod can have racked up more than $250 worth of itunes music.

  1. milhous

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    if i were a betting man..

    i'd say real's behind it because no one would be willing to file such a ridiculous lawsuit unless someone was paid to do so. i'm sure he's getting well compensated in addition to having real pay for his legal expenses.

  1. hardcat1970

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    this is outrageous

    what about our mac users encounter everyday about being mistreated? How about other online stores don't even included a mac version?

  1. Jeff75

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Wait a minute

    Isn't dashiel correct? You don't have to buy an iPod - I don't have one - to use the iTunes music store. Burn a CD or can't you use Quicktime to convert the song to MP3? Then any player can use it. Am I missing something here? Or is this going to be the quickest lawsuit in history?

  1. zzimbob

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Competitors Behind Suit?

    Real could be behind it. Or some silent Micro$oft backers. Heck, even some silent $ony backer could've initiated it.

  1. koolkid1976

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re:Competitors Behind Sui

    I'm likely to think Microsoft. It smells like them. Just like how they nudged SCO into filing those suits against LINUX.

  1. John G. Stillmank

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Thinking Jail for Morons

    Yeah, and Mac OS X only runs on Macs, so if you want the best OS in the world you gotta buy a Mac! Of course, Windows only runs on Wintel boxes (okay, or Macs with Virtual PC), so lets sue Intel and Microsoft while we're at it!

    They should put guys like this in jail. To paraphrase Jeff Goldblum in an old iMac commercial ("Beige"): "where has this guy been, in thinking jail?"

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Sue TiVo

    I'm going to sue TiVo. I like their on-screen TV guide, I paid a fee to get that and Season Pass recording. And now I find out that I can only use the stuff I paid for and downloaded on a TiVo box. They are unfairly and illegally using their monopoly in DVRs (I'm guessing they have about the same market % as Apple does in music) to "force" me to buy a TiVo box.

    PS: Earlier this year the US House of Representatives approved a draft bill that would sanction lawyers who filed three or more lawsuits deemed to be frivolous. There were also provisions for forcing plaintiffs who file frivolous suits to pay defendant's court costs and reasonable legal fees. Many people and lawyers files these suits knowing they are frivolous, but hoping the defendants will settle out of court to just make them go away and to avoid court costs. None of these measures made it anywhere, in part because the American Trial Lawyers Association (or something like that) lobbied strongly against them. Go figure...

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