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Apple Found Not Guilty of Anti-Competitive Practices in iTunes Case

Apple is off the hook in a case that could have cost the company $1 billion.

A jury in Oakland, Ca. has ruled unanimously that Apple was not acting against the best interests of its customers when implementing various digital rights managment (DRM) controls in its iTunes software between 2006 and 2009. Apple was facing potential penalties of up to $1 billion over the case. The complaint that led to the case was originally filed in 2005.

What Can Apple’s Antitrust Suit Teach Us About the Evolution of Digital Music?


The case took a few interesting twists and turns. Apple was accused of purposefully deleting music purchased by users at competing online markets. Halfway through the trial an appeal from Apple in the midst of it to dismiss the two plaintiffs, who it had found did not purchase the iPods they were suing over. The company did so by examining the serial numbers provided by the prosecution. The judge ended up allowing the prosecution to continue with their case, despite lacking an actual plaintiff.

The case also brought forth the video deposition of Steve Jobs, recorded roughly six months before his death in Oct. 2011. Media outlets have since been clamoring for the footage, about which an attorney for Apple said: “The marginal value of seeing him again, in his black turtleneck — this time very sick — is small. What they want is a dead man, and they want to show him to the rest of the world, because it’s a judicial record.”