iPod owners notified of class-action antitrust suit alleging Apple iTunes Store monopoly abuse

“Some customers who purchase an iPod between 2006 and 2009 began receiving notice this week that they are members of a pending class-action lawsuit accusing Apple of creating a monopoly with the iTunes Music Store… In early 2005, Thomas Slattery filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, alleging that the company had violated federal antitrust laws and california’s unfair competition law by requiring that customers use an iPod to listen to music purchased via the iTunes Music Store,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“The complaint has dragged on for more than 7 years now, and last year Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd in San Jose, Calif., even authorized limited questioning of Apple’s then-chief-executive Steve Jobs,” Hughes reports. “In the 7 years since the suit was filed, Apple has negotiated with music labels for a more open iTunes Music Store, and songs sold there are now provided without digital rights management software, which restricts how files can be used.”

Hughes reports, “Early this month, a pair of settlement conferences were held in the class-action suit, known as ‘The Apple iPod iTunes Anti-Trust Litigation.’ However, no settlement could be reached during those discussions… As for those who have been notified that they are a class member, customers have the right to do nothing and remain a part of the class, or they can ask to be excluded to get out of the lawsuit and receive no benefits from it. Those who wish to be excluded must send an ‘Exclusion Request,’ as detailed on the lawsuit’s official website.”

More info and links in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We couldn’t exclude ourselves from this idiocy quickly enough.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Sarah” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

15 Comments

    1. Seriously! A single customer’s “settlement” from this absurd lawsuit will be less than $1.00 unless you bought your ENTIRE music collection from iTunes (consisting of 10,000 songs or more).

      The only ones who will profit from this nonsense are the attorneys….as usual in class action lawsuits (ever notice that the complainant is often a lawyer?).

  1. What will happen is that Apple will set aside money for the suit while claiming no wrongdoing. The scummy lawyers will end up with millions and each person affected by the suit (the plaintiffs) will get a 3 song credit on their iTunes account.

  2. I don’t get it. I used to use a Palm and then switched to an HP handheld running Windows Mobile 6.5 before embracing the iPhone, and latterly the iPod nano, iPad and iPod touch. In every single one of these instances it was easier managing my music library through iTunes than dragging a load of MP3 files off my hard drive into the portable device. What a complete dick.

    In my opinion, Apple has made music management 10 times easier with iTunes. Create a playlist, put a check mark on it, sync. Done in under 5 seconds.

  3. From the email:

    “The lawsuit claims that Apple violated federal and state laws by issuing software updates in 2006 for its iPod that prevented iPods from playing songs not purchased on iTunes.”

    Which is entirely incorrect; my iPod still plays MP-3s that I have ripped without any problems.

  4. This is SOOO dumb!! iPod was not the only player of its kind out there, and the purchaser was fully aware of its requirements, including a computer (Mac or Windows) and iTunes.

    So, I can sue HP, since the laptop I bought before I converted to Macs can’t run Mac OS? I can sue Chevy since I can’t use Chrysler or Ford parts? Or I can sue Chevy since the car I bought will only work with unleaded gasoline and won’t function with diesel or propane or something?!? Did Apple block anyone from purchasing another device? They even made their product compatible with a competitive computing platform. FRIVOLOUS LAWSUIT!!

  5. As MDN said, I couldn’t opt out fast enough.

    Not to mention this is bogus. I’ve had every version of iPod made and have always been able to put on other music NOT purchased at the iTunes store. Apple never “required” any such thing and the fact that the judge is to stupid to figure this out is what is really sad.

  6. The iTunes store is customer service for iPod buyers.
    Other music player manufacturers are perfectly free to provide similar service for their customers. It’s not Apple’s responsibility to provide customer service to competitors if they have neglected it. And what this has to do with monopoly accusations?!

  7. “As for those who have been notified that they are a class member, customers have the right to do nothing and remain a part of the class, or they can ask to be excluded to get out of the lawsuit and receive no benefits from it. Those who wish to be excluded must send an ‘Exclusion Request,’ as detailed on the lawsuit’s official website.”

    Isn’t the whole opt out process ass backwards? Trolling lawyers should be required to sign up a class before filing- not the other way around.

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