Apple in Big Trouble

 

iPhone owners are suing Apple to get their phones unlocked.

iPhone owners Thomas Buchar and Zach Ward filled an action lawsuit in U.S. Disctric Court last week alleging that Apple violated antitrust laws by locking the iPhones buyers into “voice and data” contracts with AT&T. The group claim that Apple violated the “Sherman Act’s” prohibition about monopolization because Apple would have bypassed consumer’s contract and consent to have their phones locked when Apple entered into exclusivity agreement with AT&T a few years ago.

The 2 guys claim that Apple installed a software locks on the iPhone that prevent buyers from taking their devices to a competing company. It is bad because it violates the “Digital Millennium Copyright Act”, wich includes an exception that allows phone owners to modify their phones and to use it on the wireless network of their choice. [ The “Digital Millennium Copyright Act” is in fact very, very, important. We will come back to it in a few weeks.]

“Through these actions, Apple has unlawfully stifled competition, reduced output and consumer choice, and artificially increased prices in the aftermarkets for iPhone voice and data services,” – Zach Ward and Thomas Buchar. I will include the full lawsuit at the bottom of the page.

The lawsuit want an order restraining Apple from programming iPhones in a way that would prevent users from unlocking their SIM cards, the lawsuit is also looking for some “monetary damages”. The plaintiffs want Apple to provide unlock codes to iPhone owners on request, and an order preventing Apple from selling iPhones without disclosing (in ~5 pixels font… ) that the phone is locked.

 

 

-Jay

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