Amazon and Apple 'Colluded' to Make iPhone and iPad More Expensive, Says Antitrust Lawsuit

Apple and Amazon worked together to raise the price of iPhones and iPads by eliminating third-party Amazon sellers who offered Apple products at a lower cost, according to a new antitrust lawsuit filed today in Washington.

iphone 14 iphone 14 plus in hand feature
The complaint, filed by Hagens Berman law firm, says that Apple and Amazon had an "unlawful horizontal agreement" that reduced the "competitive threat posed by third-party merchants," a violation of federal antitrust laws. There were around 600 third-party sellers of Apple devices on Amazon Marketplace, which was whittled down to just seven.

Amazon began eliminating third-party sellers after it signed a 2019 deal with Apple to limit the number of resellers on Amazon marketplace to 20 per country. In exchange, Apple provided Amazon with a discounted wholesale price for iPhones and iPads.

By restricting third-party sellers from offering Apple products, Amazon made itself the dominant seller of Apple products on Amazon Marketplace, which Amazon and Apple both "stood to benefit from" even though it "would harm the public."

The lawsuit claims that prior to the agreement, third-party resellers were offering "prices steeply discounted" from those Apple wanted to have for its online storefront, which resulted in lower prices for consumers. There is no word on specific devices that went up in price due to the agreement, and no explanation of whether sellers were offering older devices or current products, nor if these were refurbished devices.

"When Apple and Amazon renewed their existing reseller agreement in 2019, the only losing party to their plan was consumers, who were blindsided by the price increases," Berman said. "Where consumers used to be able to find discounted prices of upwards of 20% for iPhones and iPads for sale on Amazon Marketplace, now they get locked into Apple's premium pricing."

Hagens Berman is aiming for an injunction to prevent Amazon from blocking third-party Apple resellers and reimbursement for consumers who "overpaid for iPhones and iPads."

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Top Rated Comments

cjbriare Avatar
20 months ago
NOW where am I gonna get my Ample I-phone ProPlus Maxx 14 from trusted amazon seller bigphongus34756325
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
genovelle Avatar
20 months ago
Because many of the devices being sold this way were stolen or counterfeit. There was no way to police it.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WiiDSmoker Avatar
20 months ago

uhh, its so people dont order apple devices from sketchy people....

Lawsuit should get tossd
No this isn't true at all. Please read again.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ZZ Bottom Avatar
20 months ago
Look there are probably a few sellers that are on the level and willing to take lower margins, but we all know that Amazon is plagued with no shortage of ****** sellers.

It’s not so bad when it’s fulfilled by Amazon, but grandma doesn’t always know they’re getting bilked by a fulfilled by third party that isn’t on the level.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Whathappened Avatar
20 months ago

uhh, its so people dont order apple devices from sketchy people....

Lawsuit should get tossd
Forbidding more than 20 resellers is something else than forbidding sketchy resellers.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
20 months ago
Good luck. Eliminating shoddy sellers gets you a lawsuit. IMO, this should get shutdown, pronto!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)