New Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple Adds to Growing List of Legal Troubles Against the Tech Giant
AliveCor, a company that sells an Apple Watch wristband with a heart-rate monitor, recently filed suit against Apple over the firm’s alleged monopolization of the market for this technology.
Apple’s legal team must now turn their attention toward accusations that they altered their heart-rate algorithm in the Apple Watch’s operating system, which allegedly excluded rival competitors by making their product incompatible with the Apple Watch.
This accusation adds to the litany of legal troubles Apple has faced in recent months, most notably an antitrust lawsuit filed by Epic Games regarding the 30% commission fee Apple charges to all in-app purchases processed through the App Store. Epic has argued that Apple runs a monopoly which requires app developers to use Apple’s in-app purchase system.
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Along with these lawsuits, EU antitrust regulators recently charged Apple with holding a monopoly in the distribution of music streaming apps to owners of Apple devices. This charge stems from a 2019 complaint made by Spotify, Apple Music’s largest competitor in the streaming business, that claims Apple holds unfair rules and fees on competitors who rely on the App Store to reach customers.
In 2020 alone, Apple grossed $64 billion from the App Store. If either of the lawsuits regarding the App Store are successful, Apple will be required to lower their 30% commission fee by a significant margin, diminishing their gross profit considerably.
The road ahead for Apple does not get easier. On August 16, 2021, Apple is set to begin trial in a class action lawsuit originally filed in 2016 for its AppleCare program. The program is alleged to have provided phones with refurbished parts that do not equal the performance and reliability of new devices, despite their claims in the terms and conditions.
Along with this, a judge has recently certified a class action lawsuit against Apple regarding their fragile butterfly keyboards in recent models of the MacBook. This lawsuit claims that Apple left butterfly keyboard technology in their devices for years despite knowing that they were defective.
While Apple tries to fight these allegations, many see these cases as potentially opening up a world of bigger antitrust and class action lawsuits against other tech powers despite the large track record of unsuccessful attempts.