iPod owners who had purchased their iPods directly from Apple between September 12, 2006 and March 31, 2009 are beginning to be notified about a case dating back to 2004. Though no ruling or settlement has been reached, Apple has been accused of creating a monopoly with iTunes Music Store. This case was recently green-lighted for class-action status and includes everyone who had purchased iPods during that 2.5 time period.
It all began in July 2004 when RealNetworks introduced a new product called Harmony that allowed DRM’d music purchased from Real Player Music Store to play on the iPod. Apple, on the other hand, only allowed Fairplay DRM’d music from iTunes or MP3 formats to be played. Apparently, Harmony was working its way around Apple’s own schemes to put songs on the iPod because of which Apple disabled Harmony.
In 2005, Thomas Slattery filed a lawsuit against Apple accusing the company of violating federal antitrust laws and California’s Unfair Competition law. Apple customers have also alleged that the company is blocking competition illegally.
Known as the ‘’Apple iPod iTunes Anti-Trust Litigation’’, the court has not yet come to a decision whether Apple is in fault or not. Since the outcome of the case has not been determined, it is too soon to conclude whether settlement money will be benefitted or not. It is to be noted that iPod owners who have been notified that they are class members of this case have the option of backing out by sending an ‘’Exclusion Request’’.