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Consumers File Lawsuits Against Apple Alleging Smartphone Market Monopoly

Following the recent antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Justice Department and several states against Apple, the tech giant is now facing a wave of consumer lawsuits. These lawsuits, filed in California and New Jersey federal courts, accuse Apple of monopolizing the smartphone market and inflating product costs through anticompetitive behavior.

Key Allegations:
The consumer lawsuits echo the claims made by the Justice Department, asserting that Apple engaged in anticompetitive conduct by suppressing technology for messaging apps, digital wallets, and other innovations that could have increased competition in the smartphone market. The plaintiffs seek to represent millions of consumers affected by Apple’s alleged actions.

Apple’s Response:
Apple has denied the allegations brought forward by the government and has yet to respond to the consumer lawsuits. The Cupertino-based company is already facing private lawsuits challenging its business practices, including a class action related to the monopoly of the market for iPhone apps.

Legal Commentary:
Attorney Steve Berman, representing one of the new cases, expressed satisfaction that the DOJ’s lawsuit aligns with their approach. Private lawsuits like these have the potential to result in significant settlements, as evidenced by previous cases where Hagens Berman secured $550 million in settlements from Apple related to ebook pricing and app store policies. A 2022 study suggests that private antitrust class actions can sometimes achieve more than government cases in terms of scope, recovery amount, or number of defendants involved.

The consumer lawsuits against Apple represent another legal challenge for the tech giant, adding to the pressure it faces from regulators and consumers regarding its market practices. As these lawsuits progress, they may have implications for Apple’s business strategies and could lead to substantial settlements if successful.

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