As some of you have heard, Apple has been recently hit with a lawsuit that could cost them potentially $1 billion in damages if found guilty. This basically involves iTunes and the iPod which some have felt that Apple had engaged in anticompetitive behavior, ultimately leading to an anti-trust lawsuit against the Cupertino company.
Well it looks like Apple can breathe a sigh of relief as the jury has since found Apple not guilty for violating anti-trust laws. The jury claimed that Apple’s iPod was a “genuine product improvement” and ruled in Apple’s favor, and while it does sound like good news for Apple, it isn’t quite over just yet as the plaintiff’s head attorney had stated that an appeal is currently being planned.
In a statement released by Apple, “We thank the jury for their service and we applaud their verdict. We created iPod and iTunes to give our customers the world’s best way to listen to music. Every time we’ve updated those products — and every Apple product over the years — we’ve done it to make the user experience even better.”
As a quick recap for those who didn’t follow the lawsuit, basically the plaintiffs had complained that Apple engaged in anticompetitive behavior via the iTunes software and the iPod. Amongst the complaints, they claimed that Apple deleted songs from their iPods that weren’t purchased from iTunes, a move which Apple admitted to although the claim it was done to protect the user experience and for security reasons.
This was later corroborated by a former Apple engineer who claimed that he had been part of the team whose goal was to block non-iTunes clients as well as keeping out third-party players that would have competed with the iPod. The plaintiffs had been asking for $350 million in damages, but under anti-trust laws, that number could have easily inflated to $1 billion if they had been successful.