A new class action complaint has been filed against Apple and Amazon, alleging that the two companies conspired to deceive customers by artificially inflating the prices of iPhones and iPads.
The complaint claims that Apple and Amazon conspired to reduce the number of third-party sellers of Apple products Now Marketplace from over 600 to just seven vendors using anti-competitive practises. Source of Image: AFP
Apple and Amazon are accused in a lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington of conspiring to “stifle competition” by preventing third-party Apple resellers from participating in Amazon Marketplace, thereby allowing “special” sellers on the platform to set their own prices for iPhones.
Apple and Amazon are the subjects of a new class action antitrust complaint, which claims the two corporations conspired on a “unlawful horizontal pact to remove or at least significantly minimise the competitive threat presented by third-party merchants.”
“approximately 600 third-party retailers of Apple items Now Marketplace were reduced to just seven vendors” as a result of this deal. The case revolves around an arrangement between Apple and Amazon in 2019, in which Apple set up an official storefront Now for the first time. Since then, Apple has taken measures to limit the ability of third-party stores to resale its products.
The law firm of Hagens Berman, which has already sued Apple on many occasions, is spearheading the class action claim. Hagens Berman, in particular, has had success going against companies like Apple for anticompetitive practises like setting the prices of e-books, which has resulted in direct compensation to consumers. The company also negotiated a $100 million settlement for a class of small developers they represented in a case against Apple. The legal team is also defending a group of financial institutions named Apple Pay against an antitrust action.
According to Hagens Berman, Apple suggested and Amazon accepted a cap of twenty resellers per nation. Even Apple-authorized resellers were left out due to this arbitrary and quantitative cutoff.
The complaint claims that following the deal, just seven out of an original total of at least 100 distinct resellers providing iPhones and at least 500 resellers supplying iPads remained Now’s marketplace. Anyone who purchased an iPhone or iPad through the Amazon “Buy Box” beginning in 2019 is urged to contact Hagens Berman because they “may have overpaid and may be eligible to reimbursement under consumer-rights legislation.” A
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