$350M iTunes Antitrust Suit Goes to Trial This Week

A class-action antitrust lawsuit filed in 2005 by Thomas Slattery is set to go to trial this week. The suit originally alleged Apple violated California’s unfair competition law by requiring the use of an iPod to listen to music purchased from iTunes. While some claims were struck from the complaint back in 2005, Apple did not manage to have the lawsuit dismissed altogether. Originally centered on digital rights management (DRM), the lawsuit highlighted Apple’s “refusal to license FairPlay technology to other companies,” but these claims were dismissed in December of 2009. The lawsuit now hinges on the allegation that Apple

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Apple Facing “Vanishing” Text Message Lawsuit

A U.S. federal lawsuit has been filed against Apple for allegedly failing to inform users that switching from iPhone to Android may cause some of their texts messages to not deliver. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who gained fame from the Apple vs. Samsung case, will be seeing the iPhone company once again brought to federal court. Consumer Adrienne Moore claims Apple’s neglect to inform her of this issue interfered with her Verizon contract. Moore is seeking class-action status as well as unspecified damages. Judge Koh worries Apple may have been intentionally blocking messages, and therefore violating California competition law.

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FTC Sues AT&T for Misleading Customers on “Unlimited” Plans

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced it is suing AT&T for misleading customers on “unlimited” data plans. The FTC has filed a complaint in federal court, claiming certain customers’ data was throttled up to 90 percent if they exceeded a particular amount of data use in a billing cycle. According to the FTC, AT&T has been throttling customers on unlimited plans since 2011, and has throttled over 3.5 million customers. The speed cap can reportedly take effect after as little as 2 gigabytes of data has been used. AT&T vehemently denies these claims. “The FTC’s allegations are baseless and

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Creator of Spyware App Arrested

Hammad Akbar, 31 year old CEO of StealthGenie, was recently arrested and accused of creating a spyware app which allows users to track mobile phone activity while remaining virtually invisible. The app – available on iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices – monitors calls, text messages, videos and other forms of communication. StealthGenie collects data on the phone it’s installed on and sends it to the purchaser’s account. The commercial advertising StealthGenie asks, “So you want to keep an eye on your loved one or your employees, because you suspect they’re hiding something and it might get too late?” There is

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Google Paying Up for Children’s In-App Purchases

Google is facing a massive payout to reimburse consumers who were unfairly billed for in-app purchases made by children. The tech giant has agreed to a $19 million settlement in response to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint calling the billing practice unfair. It’s been a hot issue for some time. Families can be charged hundreds of dollars for purchases made by their children, who do not understand what they are doing when playing a game or using an app. Many have pointed the fingers at distributors that don’t put proper payment authorization steps in place as being at fault.

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What’s Your 10-20?

I remember a Christmas many years ago when my brother and I received two units that enabled us to go to different parts of the house and talk to each other. This became an enjoyable way to play outdoor war games until the batteries went dead. Such was my intro to ‘walkie-talkies’. This type of communication has come a long way. Now that Aliant has come out with their ‘10-4’ cellular service to compete with Telus’ ‘Push-to-Talk’, some of my clients have asked whether they should be considering this type of service for their company. Funny how competition enhances curiosity.

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