Apple’s practices were found fair by jury in a class-action lawsuit that had accused the Cupertino giant of violating antitrust laws by suppressing competition for its iPod music players, Reuters reported.
It took 3 hours for a jury of 8 members in federal court to determine that Apple had, in fact, used an update of the iTunes software that it issued eight years ago to deliver genuine improvements for older iPods.
The lawsuit involved iPods sold from September 2006 to March 2009 that were able to play only songs sold in the iTunes Store or those downloaded from CDs — not music from some competing stores. Apple was accused of violating antitrust law by using a copyright management system to lock people into buying iPods rather than cheaper alternatives.
The plaintiffs, individuals who purchased iPods during the period, were seeking for at least $350 million in damages. The amount could have touched $1 billion if the company was found guilty.
However, jury ruled in favor of Apple saying that the company can’t be held liable for hindering competition and the update was in fact an improvement rather than a monopoly. It also cleared that practices by Apple had no effect on the price of iPods.
Lawyers even discovered that two of the plaintiffs initially named in the suit did not buy iPods in the relevant time period.
Apple, after winning the decade-old lawsuit, issued a statement –
Every time we’ve updated those products—and every Apple product over the years—we’ve done it to make the user experience even better.