A lawsuit alleging that Apple and AT&T have formed a monopoly with their exclusive iPhone agreement has received class-action status, according to Wired.
Judge James Ware of the U.S. District court for the Northern District of California on Thursday granted class certification of plaintiffs’ antitrust claims seeking damages and injunctive relief for the complaint titled “Apple & ATTM Antitrust Litigation.”
Lead counsel Mark Rifkin tells Wired that the terms of AT&T’s two-year customer contract say that customers have the option to terminate whenever they wish for a fee to switch to another carrier. However, since the iPhone is only offered on AT&T, customers can't go anywhere else and are still locked down to the carrier.
“The court has allowed [multiple] plaintiffs to represent 20 million consumers who have been forced to use AT&T for iPhone voice and data service, despite an agreement that allows them to terminate at any time and presumably switch carriers,” Rifkin said.
Apple argues that “[T]here was widespread disclosure of [AT&T's] five-year exclusivity and no suggestion by Apple or anyone else that iPhones would become unlocked after two years. Moreover, it is sheer speculation – and illogical – that failing to disclose the five-year exclusivity term would produce monopoly power.”
- Posted using my iPhone