OAKLAND, Calif.—The long-running iTunes antitrust lawsuit against Apple has gone to a jury, which took the case after about three hours of closing arguments today. The jury will make an unusual split decision, deliberating first over the narrow issue of whether iTunes 7.0 was a true product improvement or an anti-competitive scheme to kick out Apple competitor RealNetworks.
If the jury sees the “software and firmware updates” in iTunes 7.0 as a real improvement, the case will be over—a win for Apple. If it doesn’t see it that way, the jurors will still have to decide if Apple broke competition laws and, if so, how much the company should pay in damages. Plaintiffs are asking for $351 million, and any award will be tripled under antitrust law.
Plaintiffs representing a class of eight million consumers and resellers say Apple’s behavior was anti-competitive, because the iTunes update stopped Real’s competing DRM system from working correctly. Apple says Real should take responsibility for what was basically a hack of Apple DRM. When the company updated its security in iTunes 7.0, Real’s reverse engineering, quite naturally, stopped working.
Read 22 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Leave a Reply