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Lawsuit Over AT&T's iPhone Exclusivity Gains Class Action Status
Late last week, Wired reported that a lawsuit filed against Apple and AT&T over the carrier's exclusivity arrangement for the iPhone has received class action status, meaning that it now automatically covers every iPhone customer in the United States.
In an interview Friday with Wired.com, Mark Rifkin, lead counsel representing the plaintiffs of the suit, highlighted that the terms of AT&T's two-year customer contract say that customers have the option to terminate whenever they wish for a fee to switch to another carrier.
By only offering the iPhone on one carrier, iPhone customers are still essentially locked in despite having the termination option, the suit argues.
In a response filed by Apple's legal team in 2008, Apple claimed the allegations of monopoly were contrived.
"[T]here was widespread disclosure of [AT&T's] five-year exclusivity and no suggestion by Apple or anyone else that iPhones would become unlocked after two years," Apple said in a response. "Moreover, it is sheer speculation - and illogical - that failing to disclose the five-year exclusivity term would produce monopoly power."