Amazon and Apple Face Lawsuit Over Price Manipulation

  • Apple and Amazon face a consumer antitrust lawsuit after a U.S. federal judge in Seattle rejected a motion to dismiss, stating that it was a question for a jury.
  • The lawsuit was brought against the companies by residents of the U.S. who bought Apple products such as iPhones and iPads starting from January 2019, alleging restrictions against competitive resellers.

A federal court in Seattle has ruled that Amazon and Apple will have to face an antitrust lawsuit which alleges that the companies intentionally inflated the prices of iPads and iPhones on Amazon’s website.

The plaintiffs in the case alleged that the prices of iPads they purchased on Amazon were inflated as per a Global Tenants Agreement. The agreement apparently gave Amazon discounted Apple products in exchange for allowing only Apple-authorized resellers to access and use Amazon’s marketplace.

According to the suit, these practices resulted in artificial inflation of prices, minimizing chances for competitive pricing strategies from other resellers. The suit also states that the number of third-party resellers on Amazon fell from hundreds to single digits after the agreement went into effect.

Apple, in turn, argued to dismiss the case, stating that the agreement limited resellers, with the objective of combating counterfeit Apple products on the market. However, the motion to dismiss was rejected.

For Amazon, this is not the first lawsuit concerning pricing practices. In March 2023, a California state court denied a request by Amazon to dismiss another antitrust suit, where Attorney General Rob Bonta alleged that the company forced third-party sellers to adopt prices, resulting in inflated prices.

See More: OpenAI Sued as ChatGPT Falsely Accuses Man of Embezzlement

Apple iPhone 15 Lineup To Witness Substantial Price Increases

The antitrust suit is especially relevant with the imminent release of the iPhone 15 lineup. Leaks related to the new Apple products by multiple industry insiders and a research note by web analyst platform Barron’s have revealed that the iPhone 15 lineup will be substantially more expensive than models currently available in the market.

Industry analysts and insiders have stated that the prices could increase by as much as $200 for iPhone Pro and Pro Max models. This will be the second successive price hike for international Apple consumers.

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