According to 9to5MacA new class-action complaint centered on anti-competitive laws against Apple has been filed, which may cause trouble for the company. The case accuses Apple and Amazon of collusion and claims that the two companies illegally increased the prices of products.
The new complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, alleges that Apple and Amazon have attempted to “suppress competition” by reducing the number of Apple resellers on Amazon’s marketplace.
The class action lawsuit in question is being led by the Higgins Berman law firm. The company has previously targeted Apple in court. In 2013, Higgins Berman criticized Apple’s e-book pricing policies and successfully sued Apple to refund the fees charged to users. In another case, Higgins Berman forced Apple to pay $100 million in damages to developers.
In addition to the new class action lawsuit, Higgins Berman attorneys are working on a case centered on the Apple Pay payment service.
Higgins Berman claims that Apple and AmazonHorizontal agreement Illegal” have signed to “eliminate or at least greatly reduce the competitive threat posed by various vendors.” According to the law firm, the agreement between Apple and Amazon has reduced the number of Apple resellers on the Amazon marketplace “from nearly 600 to just seven.”
The new complaint focuses on a deal between Apple and Amazon that was struck in 2019. According to that contract, Apple opened an official virtual store on the Amazon website for the first time in history. This agreement has been the target of legal cases several times before.
With Apple’s initial proposal and Amazon’s approval, the two companies have agreed to limit the number of resellers in each country to a maximum of 20, according to law firm Higgins Berman. According to the details of the case, before the closing of the contract between Apple and Amazon in 2019, the Amazon marketplace hosted at least 100 iPhone sellers and 500 iPad sellers, but after 2019, the number of these sellers dropped by 98% and reached only seven.
Higgins-Berman says that Amazon admitted in a meeting with the US Congress that according to its contract with Apple, it only allows “seven resellers of new Apple products” to operate.
Higgins Berman invites anyone who has purchased an iPhone or iPad through Amazon’s Buy Box to contact the law firm. Higgins-Berman says these people probably overpaid for the product in question and may be entitled to compensation.
Full details of the new legal case can be found at Higgins Bremen website Read. Apple and Amazon have not responded to media requests for clarification on the law firm’s claims.