Seattle – (work wire) – new Antitrust lawsuit accusing Apple Inc. And Amazon.com in collusion To raise the price of iPhones and iPads, according to Hagens Berman, the law firm representing consumers against two of the world’s largest firms in filing today.
The lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Western District of Washington, accuses Apple and Amazon of seeking to eliminate third-party Apple sellers on the Amazon Marketplace in a scheme to stifle competition and maintain premium prices for Apple products. The class action alleges an “unlawful horizontal agreement between Apple and Amazon to remove or at least reduce the competitive threat posed by outside merchants,” which lawyers say violates federal antitrust laws and has cost consumers.
The lawsuit says that the illegal agreement of the parties led to the number of third-party sellers of Apple products in the Amazon marketplace from about 600 to just seven sellers – a 98% loss. for Apple products on the Amazon Marketplace.
The consumer rights law firm behind the filing has outstripped Apple in several antitrust lawsuits, including a 400 million dollars settlement related to setting prices for e-books and $100 million settlement On behalf of iOS developers affected by App Store policies. Hagens Berman also filed several pending antitrust cases against both defendants.
When competitors stop competing
The lawsuit centers around an agreement between Apple and Amazon that went into effect at the beginning of 2019, the existence of which has not been denied by any of the defendants. The agreement allowed Apple to limit the number of distributors operating in the Amazon marketplace, and in return offered Amazon a discounted wholesale price for a steady stream of iPhones and iPads, allowing it to reap the benefits of limited competition in its distributor arena.
The lawsuit states that “from the beginning of these discussions, the parties have discussed ‘outside vendor’ portals.” “Ultimately, Apple proposed, and Amazon agreed, to limit the number of distributors per country to no more than 20. This purely arbitrary and quantitative limit excludes even authorized distributors of Apple products.”
“When the antitrust trial team reviewed the numbers behind this lawsuit, we quickly noticed several red flags. Steve Berman, managing partner at Hagens Berman representing the proposed proposal, said the sudden loss of 98% of sellers of a particular product is unprecedented, particularly when The product on hand is made by the world’s largest technology company and sold by the world’s largest retailer Consumer Class “Apple and Amazon profited from and entered this anticompetitive agreement knowing that it would harm the public.”
According to the lawsuit, available data indicates that there were at least 100 unique sellers offering iPhones and at least 500 sellers of iPads on the Amazon platform prior to the agreement, and after that, there were no more than seven left, representing a drop of 98% Third-party sellers of Apple products. The lawsuit states that Amazon has admitted to Congress that it has entered into an agreement with Apple that allows only “seven sellers of new Apple products” on its platform.
Prior to the antitrust agreement, Amazon was a very competitive market, with many active third-party retailers offering original Apple products at deeply discounted prices that Apple wanted to keep in its online storefront, according to the lawsuit, and most Apple product markets Sales were going to third-party sellers (instead of Amazon itself). All of this benefited consumers in the form of lower prices and differentiated offers, lawyers say, but this structure threatened Apple and Amazon’s profits.
“When Apple and Amazon renewed their existing distributor agreement in 2019, the only losing party to their plan was consumers, who were stunned by the price hikes,” Berman said. “Where consumers were able to find discounted prices of more than 20% for iPhones and iPads on sale on Amazon Marketplace, they are now limited to Apple’s premium prices.”
The lawsuit seeks compensation for consumers who overpaid for iPads and iPhones affected by the scheme, as well as an injunction preventing the scheme from continuing.
Hagens Berman is a global law firm that specializes in plaintiffs’ rights issues, with a strong drive to deliver real results for those affected by corporate negligence and fraud. Since its founding in 1993, the firm’s design has earned it numerous accolades, national awards, and “Most Fearless Plaintiff’s Firm” titles, MVPs, and Trailblazers in class action law. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the company for updates and news on Tweet embed.
#Huggins #Berman #Antitrust #lawsuit #Apple #Amazon #colluded #raise #iPhone #iPad #prices