Class Action Lawsuit Against Apple, AT&T On Like Donkey Kong

Apple and AT&T can't seem to catch a break in the court of public opinion lately, and now the two will have to defend themselves in a real court. That's because a federal judge has ruled that a monopoly lawsuit against Apple and AT&T over alleged violations to antitrust law can proceed as a class action, according to reports.

The all-encompassing lawsuit represents a whole bunch of individual suits filed by iPhone buyers dating back to 2007 shortly after the original iPhone came to market. In short, the lawsuit takes issue with Apple's decision to lock iPhones so that they can only work on AT&T's network, and also charges Apple with secretly making AT&T its exclusive iPhone partner in the U.S. for five years. On that latter point, if it's true, it would rank as one of the worst kept secrets ever.

As the class action lawsuit goes, this partnership between Apple and AT&T ultimately hurt competition and caused consumers to pay more for hardware and services than they otherwise would have.

The lawsuit includes anyone who bought an iPhone with a 2-year service agreement dating back to when the device first went on sale.
Via:  USA Today
jturnbull65 4 years ago

There are aspects of validity to the lawsuit -- namely 1) that the 5 year exclusivity contract with AT&T was in place from day one, effectively making the 2 year customer contract a 5 year one, yet was undisclosed to the customer and 2) non "phone" functionality such as iPod and wi-fi web browsing still require an AT&T service contract.

However, the bulk of the claims seem frivolous: the nature of exclusivity is not illegal in the U.S. and with many examples of carrier-exclusive phones, it's difficult to make the case that the iPhone in particular hurt competition and influenced pricing.

Even if the class action succeeds, though it would be a slap on the wrist for Apple and AT&T, I think the consumer is going to end up worse for wear since the attorneys will make off with their substantial legal "fees" and we'll ultimately foot the bill as consumers and stockholders.

reelstuff 4 years ago

Actually, this is really far and away from what we in the US like to call a free market, I know I used to work for ATT, I can tell you one thing for certain, they better settle, because there are things behind the curtain that no one at apple or att want the public to know about, Be a fan if you want but know this, the hardware, actual cost, is like 49 bucks, now add up the retail cost and you just got jacked.

acarzt 4 years ago

Reelstuff, a lot of stuff has the price mark way up so they make more money on it.

Sunglasses for example... there is a particular brand I wont mention here... It costs them $2 to make the glasses and then they turn around and sell the for about $150.

Anyway... hopefully this lawsuit will make it so people can do whatever they want with the iphone they PAID FOR.

AKwyn 4 years ago

reelstuff, unless there is a study conducted. I don't think an iPhone would cost $49 to make.

Tell me, how are they able to get all of the cool stuff for $49?

Anyway, while this may be good into getting the iPhone onto carriers like T-Mobile. I don't know what the lawsuit will do to the price. I'm tired of having to wait for an unlock every time the new iPhone comes out and I don't think the AT&T exclusivity contract will ever run out.

Ndrey one year ago

from now you can unlock any AT&T iPhone using this form

Inspector 4 years ago

Well based on brand names and what not, they are going to charge you more or less. like a start up company that no one knows won't charge you 150 for a pair of sunglasses :P

"also charges Apple with secretly making AT&T its exclusive iPhone partner in the U.S. for five years. On that latter point, if it's true, it would rank as one of the worst kept secrets ever."

LOL that last part made me LOL...

rapid1 4 years ago

The only thing like the iPhone at least phone wise would be the blackberry. However; the blackberry devices are on many carriers. As far as it goes when the iPhone came out and for quite a substantial time after that it was exclusive to one carrier. So acting in collusion it would definitely be defined as a monopoly or at least in monopolistic terms. I don't really care much because it is Apple and therefore by default a locked proprietary device. It is a cellular device and most of these devices at least to some amount are proprietary to an extent. As a mainstay device though to be locked to one provider it is pretty backa77wards. In the large picture of things, or at least unless Apple changes there plans which I don't see happening Apple will to a large part go back to the obscurity they did when Windows took over the computer world at least to the greater part. This time it will be open source through Android with Google calling the shots. The big screw up for Apple here will be that they have also made Google mad by trying to use there devices literally in competition, and entered the search business. So not only do they have to worry about customers being mad, they also have a target on there head from Google, and there design team screwed up on there newest device to some amount as well.

acarzt 4 years ago

Apple should just do what HTC does... Change 1 minor feature, rename it and sell it on an other network lol

bellacriz 3 years ago

The Amazon Appstore opened for business, officially, on Tuesday, March 22. I read this here: Amazon defies Apple lawsiut by opening Appstore This is despite a cease-and-desist order and federal trademark legal action filed by Apple computer over the use of the name “Appstore”. This is one of multiple legal cases over the use of the term “app,” all of which might be driving up cost to customers.

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