Apple iCloud Faces Potential Class Action for Anti-Competitive Practices

What you should know


  • Apple faces a proposed class action lawsuit accusing it of antitrust violations by leveraging its 70% share of the cloud platform market through iCloud, leading to high prices and almost pure profit.
  • The lawsuit includes a nationwide class and a California subclass of iCloud users who were allegedly overcharged, potentially affecting tens of millions of users.
  • Apple’s iCloud is criticized for being the only option for iPhone users to perform a complete backup, including “Restricted Files” that competitors cannot access, giving iCloud a significant competitive advantage.
  • The plaintiffs seek injunctive relief to stop Apple’s “abusive, unlawful, and anticompetitive practices,” along with monetary relief, including potential treble damages or restitution.


Full Story

Oh boy, Apple’s at it again. Seems like they can’t catch a break from legal battles. This time around, they’re caught up in a class action lawsuit, as reported by Bloomberg. The big accusation? Apple’s supposedly “rigging the competitive playing field” with its hefty 70% share in the cloud market, all thanks to iCloud.

So, what’s the big deal? The lawsuit claims Apple’s cranked up iCloud prices sky-high. Basically, they’re making bank—almost pure profit. And how’s Apple pulling this off? The suit argues it’s all thanks to their monopoly power.

Bloomberg’s got the scoop on who could join this legal tussle. We’re talking a nationwide class and a California subclass. These are folks who’ve bought iCloud plans and feel they’ve been overcharged. Imagine the size of that group—tens of millions of users. Yikes.

Now, cloud storage isn’t some obscure tech wizardry. It’s just storing digital data on servers far, far away. This lets users stash and fetch their data remotely. Handy, right?

The lawsuit’s beef isn’t that Apple’s the only game in town. Nope. Giants like Google, Microsoft, and Dropbox are in the mix too. The real issue? Apple’s got a lock on certain data—dubbed “Restricted Files.” These are bits and bobs you absolutely need to restore a device.

Here’s a kicker from the court docs. They’ve got this illustration comparing Apple’s overall profit margins to the insane margins on iCloud subscriptions. Talk about an eye-opener.

The plot thickens with iCloud being the lone ranger for iPhone users needing a full backup. And guess what? Apple hasn’t budged an inch on the free 5GB of cloud storage since Steve Jobs unveiled iCloud back in 2011 at WWDC.

The filing doesn’t mince words. It says Apple’s playing gatekeeper with these Restricted Files, skewing the competition. This leaves rivals in the dust, unable to offer a full-service cloud storage solution. Sure, they can handle your photos and videos, but not the whole shebang.

This, the lawsuit argues, hands iCloud an “enormous structural advantage” over competitors. End of the day, even if you use another platform for photos, you’re still tied to iCloud for those Restricted Files.

The plaintiffs? They’re not just sitting around. They’re asking the court for a whole menu of relief options. We’re talking everything from injunctions against Apple’s “abusive” practices to monetary damages. And yes, they’re even eyeing treble damages.

Apple might just opt to settle, as is often their way. But that’s down the road. The judge would need to give the green light on any settlement and how to divvy up the funds. So, we’re just in the opening act. Stay tuned, folks.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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