Steve Jobs to play key role in iPod antitrust case
According to The New York Times, Apple is back in court this week to answer to allegations that it intentionally was out to take down music services and players. This has led to an iPod class action lawsuit that started back in 2005. And it looks like the ex-CEO has something to say about it as well. Yes, we are referring to Steve Jobs. Technically, emails from the late CEO and a videotaped disposition taken before his death will be part of the case put forward by the plaintiff.
The lawsuit all started due to a complaint revolving around Apple’s older iPod models which only played music bought using iTunes and any songs users downloaded from CDs. Also on trial is Apple’s FairPlay system for encoding music. The system only allowed limited music playback to the Apple iPod. Any other mp3 player was unable to be used. Apple allegedly breached antitrust law by doing this as it deliberately limited interoperability with competing consumer products.
By using the testimony through the Steve Jobs email, the plaintiff is planning on portraying Jobs as a stern and aggressive businessman who was out to ensure only the success of iPod and iTunes. He basically didn’t care if he was doing this at the expense of smaller competitors according to the plaintiff.
Another part of the case is focusing on Apple’s interactions with RealNetworks. RealNetworks was a company who manage to come up with a way to allow content from its music store to be played on the iPod. Apple accused RealNetworks of hacking the iPod and was threatening to cut off the company in future iPod updates.
So, how is Apple going to come back? Apple is going to counter that the iPod and iTunes is focused on improving consumer’s lives and it was never intended to put down any competitor. A basic argument if you ask me. Well, what do you think about this matter? Is Apple really a company that is looking to cripple competitors to monopolize the market? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!