The United States District Court for The Northern District of California “has ruled that Apple and AT&T may have violated the Sherman Antitrust Act when they had a secret agreement that locked customers in for five years, three years past the two-year agreements that customers thought they were signing. The court ruled as well that Apple may have violated the same law by limiting the market for iPhone applications to those available through the App Store. In addition, the court ruled that Apple’s decision to permanently disable unlocked iPhones with its Version 1.1.1 update may have also violated the law,” Scott Bradner writes for Network World.
“I say ‘may have’ because what the court did was refuse to rule that the charges made by the people suing Apple and AT&T should be dismissed. The next step will be discovery, where Apple and AT&T will have to produce mountains of documents detailing just what they have been doing,” Bradner writes.
“This case has hardly started, but one possible outcome could be that Apple is told that it cannot have the kind of restrictive agreement it now has with AT&T and has to open up the iPhone for more third-party applications. I expect that Apple, but not AT&T, will benefit considerably if this happens — as will consumers (and, of course, the lawyers),” Bradner writes.
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” and “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]