Apple share price: Company wins iPod antitrust lawsuit

on Dec 17, 2014
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iNVEZZ.com, Wednesday, December 17: Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), the world’s largest technology company, yesterday won a 10-year old anti-trust lawsuit over digital music after a US jury decided that the firm did nothing wrong when it introduced software updates for its iPod music player that restricted music purchases to its iTunes digital store. The plaintiffs, a group of consumers and iPod resellers seeking $350 million in damages, had argued that the updates were meant to block music sold by competitors to work on the iPod. The damages could have been tripled if the company was found guilty of violating antitrust laws.

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But after only three hours the eight-man jury in an Oakland federal court decided that the updates were genuine improvements, rather than attempts to thwart competition. Under US law, a company cannot be found anticompetitive if a product alteration was an improvement for customers. Apple welcomed the swift decision. “We created iPod and iTunes to give our customers the world’s best way to listen to music,” the Cupertino-based tech giant said, as quoted by Reuters. “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.”

Patrick Coughlin, the plaintiff’s attorney said after the verdict that an appeal was already planned. The case took almost 10 years to get to trial, as it was originally filed in 2005.
In yesterday’s trading, Apple shares closed down 1.3 percent at $106.75, giving the company a market capitalisation of $632.7 billion. According to the Financial Times, the current consensus estimate has it that the company will outperform the market.This has been the consensus forecast since the sentiment of investment analysts deteriorated on September 29, 2011, the FT notes.

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