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Judge approves antitrust case vs Apple

updated 01:35 pm EST, Thu February 9, 2006

Antitrust case vs AAPL

A new ruling has paved the way for an antitrust lawsuit against Apple. The lawsuit, filed against Apple by an unhappy iTunes customer, claims that Apple engaged in anticompetitive behavior by forcing him to buy an iPod. Judge James Ware of the U.S. District Court of Northern California has found the plaintiff, Thomas Slattery, as having "met all requirements for asserting [Apple's iTunes and iPod] tying claim, noting that the complaint alleges Apple has an 80 percent share of the market for legal digital music files and more than 90 percent of the market for portable hard-drive digital music players." Judge Ware has given Slattery the go-ahead to proceed with his monopolization claim under the federal Sherman Antitrust Act, according to eHomeUpgrade. Slattery claimed that Apple's system freezes out competitors, and while one antitrust expert called it a long shot, another antitrust law professor said that 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.

by MacNN Staff





  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is the most ludicrous piece of news I have ever heard. Either this judge is a total moron; or this is some underhanded attempt by some cowardly competition to 'try' and get and edge.

  1. Ganesha

    Joined: Dec 1969


    With that logic...

    I can sue AutoCad for forcing me to buy a PC with windows.

  1. darkelf

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ...wake me up when the stupid's over.

  1. Glasspusher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    itunes predates ipod

    iTunes forced him to buy an ipod? Give me a small break. iTunes was around before iPods and didn't force anyone to buy anything then. "Forced". Nobody forced you to do anything pal. Wonder if he was "forced" to file a lawsuit. Cry me an iRiver ;)

  1. Zaren

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Way to be topical, macnn

    So I mention this brand new lawsuit to some friends today, and they hammer me for talking about old news. I dig further into the article, and discover that this "new ruling" (which implies that it, you know, is new) was actually passed down LAST SEPTEMBER. So thanks for keeping me up to date with all the latest and greatest Apple news, MacNN. I can't wait to see the article where you talk about Apple moving from 040 to 601 processors!

  1. swatson

    Joined: Dec 1969



    there ARE options to the itunes music store, and the ipod. CD sales are also an alternative to online downloads.

    Second, the market needs time to catch up. Is Apple a Monopoly for online downloads? Maybe. But the market has only existed for a year or two. You have to give companies like Napster, yahoo, MS, Real, etc. a chance to catch up.

  1. rok

    Joined: Dec 1969


    forced to buy an ipod

    as someone has already pointed out, itunes does NOTHING to force someone to buy an ipod. it never has. why? you can BURN any music you buy to a COMPACT DISC (remember those?) and then play on ANY CD PLAYER ON THE PLANET. recall the "Rip. Mix. Burn" campaign, which was pre-iPod?

    I swear, this guy needs to have his head examined.

  1. PookJP

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wow, that's good.

    Somebody should read him the following definition of "monopoly:"

    A situation in which a single company or group owns all or nearly all of the market for a given type of product or service. By definition, monopoly is characterized by an absence of competition - which often results in high prices and inferior products.

    80% is good, but it's not even close to "all or nearly all" when it comes to actual choice, units sold, and competition. If anything, the iPod's dominance is on shaky ground due to competing devices that continually surpass it in features and undercut it in price.

  1. godrifle

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So Apple is a monopoly and Microsoft isn't?!

  1. kw99

    Joined: Dec 1969



    that Apple is being accused of "engaging in anticompetitive behavior" as it relates to the dominance of iTunes Music Store and iPod in their markets. In fact, it is actually the things Apple did NOT do that are at issue. Apple did not license its DRM standards to others. Apple did not license MS DRM standards to use on iTunes and iPods. The consequences are that there is a very close inter-relationship between iPods and iTunes. But can Apple be sued for "non-action"? NOT doing something (something that would make the situation less profitable for shareholders), is not "engaging in anticompetitive behavior." Apple attained it's dominance in those markets by making wise business decisions.

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