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Apple iPod Antitrust Jury Trial Starts

A class action antitrust suit originally filed against Apple on 3 January 2005, which could cause the company to pay about $1 billion in damages, will finally be heard in an Oakland, California, court. The original plaintiffs—Melanie (Tucker) Wilson and Marianna Rosen —claim Apple unduly influenced the market for music players between 2006 and 2009, thereby making iPod prices higher than they would have been otherwise. The key in the case is security updates from Apple that used the company’s FairPlay digital-rights management technology to prevent files from music stores other than Apple’s iTunes from working with the iPod. , The plaintiffs say thie updates were solely designed to "suppress new products that threatened [Apple's] monopolies in the relevant product markets." Apple says that it blocked competitors’ files to ensure both security and quality and that this practice benefitted consumers. Several key Apple executives are expected to testify and jurors could hear a deposition taken from Steve Jobs before he died. (CNET)(Businessweek)

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