A majority of the the U.S. Supreme Court held recently that consumers that purchase Apps from Apple’s App store are direct purchasers able to pursue a proposed antitrust class action under federal law. The majority rejected Apple Inc.’s contention that the consumers are “indirect purchasers” barred from pursuing federal antitrust damages under the high court’s 1977 ruling in Illinois Brick. Instead, the majority found the App Store buyers are direct purchasers from Apple, sidestepping calls from 31 states to overturn the landmark Illinois Brick ruling, which has generally limited federal antitrust claims under the Sherman and Clayton acts to “direct” purchasers of the price-fixed product or service, not “indirect” buyers further down the chain.

“It is undisputed that the iPhone owners bought the apps directly from Apple. Therefore, under Illinois Brick, the iPhone owners were direct purchasers who may sue Apple for alleged monopolization,” Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh said for the 5-4 majority, joined by the court’s liberal members.

The technology giant has been defending the case since 2011, when consumers first alleged that it monopolizes the market by forcing developers to sell only on its platform, while it collects a 30% commission. A district court granted Apple’s motion to dismiss the case in 2013 under Illinois Brick, but the Ninth Circuit revived it in 2017. The Ninth Circuit held that because Apple acts as a distributor of the apps and customers purchase apps directly from Apple, Illinois Brick did not apply.


This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon class actions.

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A class action lawsuit has been filed in California federal court against Apple after the company admitted it slows down old iPhones with older batteries.

Continue reading “Class action filed against Apple for slowing down older iPhones”

Circuit5A California federal judge approved a $415 million class action settlement between software engineers and Apple, Inc., Google, Inc. and others resolving claims they illegally agreed not to poach each other’s engineers.

Continue reading “Anti-poaching class action against Google and Apple settled”

googleGoogle, Apple, Intel and Adobe have now offered $415 million to settle accusations that they had conspired against their own employees, according to the New York Times. 

Continue reading “Silicon Valley wage suppression class action close to settlement”

intelJudge Koh, the California federal judge overseeing the antitrust class action claiming Google Inc., Apple Inc., Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. illegally agreed not to poach each other’s engineers set April 9, 2015, as the trial start date.

Continue reading “Judge sets trial date for wage suppression class action against Silicon Valley companies”

apple-logo-pomme-griseWe previously blogged about how Federal District Judge Koh ordered four leading tech companies to come up with more money to settle a class-action lawsuit that accuses them of conspiring against their own employees.

Continue reading “Intel, Apple, and Google appeal Judge Koh’s rejection of their settlement”

apple-logo-pomme-griseU.S. District Judge Lucy Koh rejected as too low a $324.5 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit alleging Intel, Google and Apple conspired with several other technology companies to block their top workers from getting better job offers.

Continue reading “Court rejects proposed settlement of Intel, Google, and Apple wage fixing conspiracy”

apple-logo-pomme-griseA lawsuit against Apple filed by former employees was certified as a class action.

Continue reading “Employee class action certified against Apple”

Circuit5In a case that alleged that major Silicon Valley employers colluded not to poach employees from each other, Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe have agreed to pay to settle a major lawsuit according to a letter filed Thursday with the federal judge handling the case. Continue reading “Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe settle antitrust case alleging they conspired not to hire employees from each other”

Law and justice concept, gavelA Ninth Circuit panel rejected the efforts of Apple, Inc., Google, Inc. and other major technology companies to overturn a lower court’s class certification in a suit accusing the companies of violating antitrust laws by agreeing not to poach one another’s employees.  In a brief opinion, the court denied the defendants permission to appeal the district court’s class certification.

U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh certified the class in October, ruling the engineers’ antitrust claims and damages could be proved on a classwide basis. Though Judge Koh denied the plaintiffs’ original bid for class certification in April, she concluded that the additional evidence and expert testimony they had provided since then cleared the bar for certification. Continue reading “Appeal by Apple, Google and other tech companies of antitrust class certification rejected”

buttonApple Inc. and AT&T Mobility LLC have reportedly agreed to a settlement of a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Continue reading “Apple settles iPad class action”

Antitrust CasesConsumers seeking damages from Apple Inc. for its role in an alleged plot to fix e-book prices urged the court overseeing the multidistrict litigation Wednesday to reject the iPad maker’s bid to redo its discovery in the case.

Continue reading “Apple seeks discovery extension in e-books antitrust class action”

Pink Ipod MusicApple agreed to pay $53 million to settle a class action lawsuit that alleged the company failed to honor warranties on malfunctioning iPhones and iPod Touches, according to Wired.  Apple reportedly rejected the consumer warranty claims based on the belief that the relevant malfunctions resulted from water damage which is not covered by Apple’s one-year and extended two-year warranty plans.

Continue reading “Apple settles warranty class action”

Pink Ipod MusicApple has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit filed against the company over in-app purchases (IAPs).  Specifically, the lawsuit pointed to the relative ease with which children were able to carry out extravagant IAPs especially in so-called “bait apps” like the infamous Smurf’s Village. The lawsuit claimed that users younger than 13 could purchase game content via IAPs, that minors could open their own App Store accounts, and that minors could easily use their parents’ accounts.  Now, Apple apparently has assented to a proposed settlement that entitles every aggrieved parent with at least $5 in iTunes credit. Continue reading “Apple agrees to settle class action over in-app purchases aimed at kids”

A group of more than thirty states have agreed to a $52 million settlement from three publishers as part of a price fixing investigation involving Apple.  More money may be on the way.  While state leaders say the money is for overcharged consumers, the arrangement is unusual.

The tens of millions at stake raise questions about the political and business motives behind the deal, and could provide more fodder for critics who question government decisions in the high-profile e-book case. Continue reading “Three publishers settle in e-book price fixing case”

A class action complaint filed in New York alleges that the sellers of “almost all the downloaded music in the United States,” including Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft, “accept and sell unlicensed music” from “music aggregators,” cheating thousands of artists of royalties.  Norman Blagman, a songwriter, sued the four defendants named above, plus eMusic.com and Orchard Enterprises, alleging “massive and systematic” copyright violations. Continue reading “Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft sued over digital music copyright violations”

If you are among the millions of consumers who purchased an iPod between September 2006 and March 2009, you are likely a class member in a class action lawsuit filed against Apple several months ago.  The lawsuit claims that the Cupertino, California-based company violated federal and state laws by issuing software updates in 2006 for iPods that prevented the music players from playing songs not purchased on iTunes. It alleges that the software updates caused iPod prices to be higher than they otherwise would have been, according to an email that is being sent this week to consumers who are believed to have purchased an iPod during the three-year period. Continue reading “Class notices going out in iPod class action”

An iPhone owner whose daughter downloaded $200 worth of “Zombie Toxin” and “Gems” through in-app purchases on his iPhone has been allowed to pursue a class action suit against Apple for compensation of up to $5 million.

Garen Meguerian of Pennsylvania launched the class action case against Apple in October 2011 after he discovered that his nine-year-old daughter had been draining his credit card account through in-app purchases on “free” games including Zombie Cafe and Treasure Story.  This month, Judge Edward J. Davila in San Jose District Federal Court has allowed the case to go to trial, rejecting Apple’s claim that the case should be dismissed. Continue reading “Class action based on in-app purchases for free apps allowed to proceed against Apple”

Five book publishers and Apple have been sued in a class action lawsuit that alleges they colluded to drive up the price of e-books. The suit claims HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster worked with Apple to break Amazon’s discount pricing strategy and help Apple’s iPad compete with the Kindle.

The complaint alleges that Apple believed that it needed to neutralize the Kindle when it entered the e-book market with its own e-reader, the iPad, and feared that one day the Kindle might challenge the iPad by digitally distributing other media like movies and music.  The complaint alleged that Apple and the publishers worked together to force Amazon to drive up prices. They did this by forcing Amazon to stop using discount pricing and start using the agency model.

The agency model allows publishers to set prices for their e-books, with the online store taking a portion of the price. Previously Amazon had bought e-books from publishers and set its own low prices. In the agency model, Amazon would not be allowed to sell e-books at prices lower than those set by the publishers. Since the publishers in question control 85% of the popular books on Amazon, it was inevitable that Amazon would have to raise e-book prices – and it since has.

US District Court Judge James Ware sitting in the Northern District of California (San Jose Division) certified a class action asserting monopolization in violation of the Sherman Act against Apple and AT&T.  The plaintiffs allege that although they were required to purchase a two-year service agreement with AT&T Mobility when they purchased their iPhones, Apple and AT&T Mobility had secretly agreed to technologically restrict voice and data service in the aftermarket for continued voice and data services for five years. Continue reading “Antitrust class action against Apple and AT&T certified”