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."

Top Rated Comments

cjbriare Avatar
17 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
17 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
17 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
17 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
17 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
17 months ago
Good luck. Eliminating shoddy sellers gets you a lawsuit. IMO, this should get shutdown, pronto!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Coming Soon With These New Features for Your iPhone

Monday February 26, 2024 6:08 am PST by
In a press release last month, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU, Apple Podcasts transcripts, and an iMessage security upgrade. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay...
applearcade

Game Developers Describe 'Smell of Death' Around Apple Arcade

Monday February 26, 2024 7:24 am PST by
Some game developers are dissatisfied with Apple Arcade amid concerns about the subscription service's future, a new report claims. Sources speaking to mobilegamer.biz described a "smell of death" around Apple's games subscription service and noted the difference between the company's investment in TV and music, and its interest in games. "At the very top of the company there needs to be a ...