Antitrust Suit Against Apple, AT&T OKed

Bought iPhone with a 2-year plan? You're in on class action lawsuit
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 12, 2010 6:36 AM CDT
Antitrust Suit Against Apple, AT&T OKed
In this June 7, 2010 photo, Apple CEO Steve Jobs uses the new iPhone 4, at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – A federal judge says a monopoly abuse lawsuit against Apple and AT&T's mobile phone unit can move forward as a class action. The lawsuit consolidates several filed by iPhone buyers starting in late 2007, a few months after the first generation of Apple's smart phone went on sale, and takes issue with Apple's practice of "locking" iPhones so they can only be used on AT&T's network, and its absolute control over what applications can be installed on the phone.

The lawsuit also says Apple secretly made AT&T its exclusive US partner for five years. Consumers agreed to two-year contracts with the Dallas-based wireless carrier when they purchased their phones, but were in effect locked into a five-year relationship with AT&T, the lawsuit argues. The class includes anyone who bought an iPhone with a two-year AT&T agreement since the device first went on sale in June 2007. While the judge OKed antitrust portions of the suit, he dismissed other charges, including complaints about the OS update that "bricked" many phones. (Read more iPhone stories.)

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