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.