Apple wins iTunes suit

17 Dec 2014


Ten years after it was filed, a jury took about three hours to reject an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple, accusing it of using a software update to secure a monopoly over the digital music market.

The eight-member jury in federal court in Oakland, California, unanimously concluded that Apple had used an update of the iTunes software it had issued eight years ago to deliver genuine improvements for older iPods, The New York Times reported.

The verdict delivered on Tuesday concluded a class-action suit that had been in various courts and in various forms and had also contained various accusations - before it finally went to trial in early December.

The lawsuit pertained to iPods sold from September 2006 to March 2009 that played songs sold only in the iTunes Store or those downloaded from CDs - not music from competitors.

The iPhone maker stood accused of violating antitrust law by using a copyright management system to lock people into buying iPods rather than cheaper alternatives.

Apple was asked to pay up at least $350 million in damages, an amount that could have tripled if the jury found that Apple violated antitrust law.

Apple said in a statement, ''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.''

Meanwhile, USA Today reported that the rejected lawsuit could hardly serve as model for class action against a Silicon Valley giant.

Apple's primary defence centred around innovation.

Though the word "iPod" was now synonymous with the idea of a handheld digital music player in the minds of most US citizens, it was not always that way.

The first so-called mp3 player was produced by a company called Diamond Rio, which appealed to fans of portable music devices.

The concept of online digital music stores too had been pioneered by a less known company.

While, Apple's iTunes service had sold the most music for years now, the concept of streaming songs over the internet came from Seattle-based RealNetworks, with the Rhapsody service it owned at one time.

(Also see: Amid lawsuits, Steve Jobs may yet prove to be worm in Apple)

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