The Apple iPod trial began Tuesday, December 3 in an Oakland, California federal court and is set to hear testimony from several of Apple key executives. The court will review several emails sent by Steve Jobs. The iPod lawyers plan Steve Jobs video testimony for the jurors and court. The video testimony was recorded by Steve Jobs six months prior to his death.
The Apple Corporation will need to defend its business practices as the company has been accused of deleting music from competitors, off of their customer’s iPods. They have also been accused of breaking anti-trust laws by abusively monopolizing its position in the music player market.
Apple denies any and all wrong doing and further states that their actions were for the benefit of consumers and to protect consumers from hackers and malicious content. Apple further states that the intention was to prevent piracy and did not constitute anti-competitive conduct. As the iPod lawyers plan Steve Jobs video testimony, the hope is that the video will nullify the lawsuit once viewed by the court and jurors.
During Steve Jobs reign as head of Apple, the company added a software to their customer’s iPods that prevented the illegal copying of purchased music. However, it also caused the iPod to be incompatible with their competitor’s music players and downloads.
iTunes music downloads were only compatible with the iPod music player and could not be played on other music player systems such as Real player. This limited the consumer’s ability to build a music library that would then be able to be played on all music players. Further, whenever the competition updated their software to become compatible with iTunes or iPod, the Apple Corporation would send out updates locking them out again.
The class action lawsuit was filed by a group of individuals and businesses who purchased iPods during the period of 2006-2009. Plaintiffs claim that Apple, Inc. conducted themselves in a way that shut out competing rivals and deliberately preventing them access to the music marketplace. This resulted in Apple monopolizing both the music download and music player industry, which enabled them to sell the music player at prices much higher than the competitive market value.
Apple has been involved in three major anti-trust lawsuits. Last year, Apple, Inc. was found guilty of violating anti-trust laws by conspiring with five different publishers to coordinate a contract to combat Amazon’s practice of selling eBooks for $9.99. Apple has filed an appeal about the first liability findings.
The iPod makers are also facing a no-hire agreement anti-trust lawsuit, where Steve Jobs has been accused of being involved in an anti-poaching conspiracy that is illegal. The agreement was with other technology companies as well, in which they agreed to not hire each other’s employees. A settlement offer that was made by three tech companies and Apple was rejected by the court for being too low.
The Plaintiff’s for the lawsuit are seeking damages in the millions and the amount could easily triple due to anti-trust laws. The plaintiff’s attorneys are planning to release a videotaped testimony of Steve Jobs for the court to view. This video deposition of Steve Jobs has never been publicly released but will be entered into court as a rebuttal as the iPod lawyers plan Steve Jobs video testimony.
By Kelara Pumphrey