Amazon.com and Apple will face an anti-consumer lawsuit in a United States court. In he has been accused of conspiring to artificially increase the prices of iPads and iPhones sold on the Amazon online shopping platform. A federal judge in Seattle gave its verdict on Thursday.
US District Judge John Coughenour has issued a ruling in the ongoing antitrust lawsuit targeting Apple and Amazon. He has denied their requests to dismiss the potential class action on different legal grounds. The judge stated that the question of the “validity” of the relevant market, a crucial aspect of antitrust cases, should be decided by a jury.
The lawsuit which is filed in November, is one of several legal actions. Both private and government-led, that challenge Amazon’s pricing practices on its online platform. With Coughenour’s ruling, the case will now progress to evidence-gathering and other pretrial procedures.
Representatives for Apple and Amazon, as well as their respective legal teams, did not provide immediate comments regarding the ruling.
Steve Berman, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, praised the court’s decision as a significant triumph for consumers who own Apple phones and iPads.
The plaintiffs, in this case, are individuals residing in the United States. Who bought new iPhones and iPads from Amazon starting in January 2019. They contend that an agreement between Apple and Amazon. Implemented during the same year, unlawfully restricted the presence of competing resellers, violating antitrust regulations.
As per the lawsuit, there were approximately 600 third-party Apple resellers operating on Amazon in 2018. The plaintiffs claim that Apple provided Amazon with a product discount in return for reducing the number of Apple resellers in its marketplace.
Apple has defended the agreement by stating that its primary purpose was to combat the sale of counterfeit Apple products on Amazon’s e-commerce platform.
In a court filing, Apple’s attorneys referred to such agreements as “commonplace”. And argued that the Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit have consistently recognized their procompetitive and lawful nature.
The judge presiding in Seattle has determined that the examination of the “countervailing” motivations related to the Apple-Amazon agreement. It will postpone to the next phase of the legal proceedings.
During the second quarter, Apple recorded sales of $94.8 billion. Whereas Amazon revealed $127.4 billion in its latest quarterly earnings report.