No-poaching antitrust case against Apple, Google and others will go to trial

By on April 19, 2012 at 7:45 PM.

No-poaching antitrust case against Apple, Google and others will go to trial

Apple, Google and five other technology companies must face an antitrust lawsuit for illegally agreeing to not poach each other’s employees. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, rejected the companies’ bid to dismiss claims brought under the Sherman Act and California state law, Reuters reported on Thursday. In addition to Apple and Google, Intel, Adobe, Pixar, Intuit and Lucasfilm are accused of entering into the illegal agreements. The proposed class action lawsuit was filed after five software engineers claimed the companies conspired to reduce employee pay by eliminating competition for skilled labor. More →

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Apple hit with second class action suit over poor Siri performance

By on March 29, 2012 at 3:10 PM.

Apple hit with second class action suit over poor Siri performance

A class action lawsuit was filed in New York against Apple earlier this month, alleging that the company’s “misleading and deceptive” iPhone 4S ads depicted Siri as responsive and helpful. The complainant, Frank Fazio, argues that Siri is unresponsive and it often fails to understand what is being asked of it. Earlier this week, another class action suit was filed in Los Angeles that makes similar allegations, Los Angeles Times reports. “Through its nationwide multimedia marketing campaign, Apple disseminates false and deceptive representations regarding the functionality of the Siri feature,” the suit claims. “For example, in many of Apple’s television commercials, consumers are shown using Siri to make appointments, find restaurants, and even to learn the guitar chords to classic rock songs. In its advertisements, Apple depicts these tasks as easily accomplished ‘just by asking’ Siri.” It continues, “Apple’s deceptive commercials diverge greatly from the actual functionality and operation of the Siri feature as experienced by Plaintiff and fellow consumers.” The suit seeks relief and damages for the complainant and everyone else in the country who purchased an iPhone 4S. More →

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Samsung to pay millions in class-action settlement over faulty TVs

By on February 24, 2012 at 4:35 PM.

Samsung to pay millions in class-action settlement over faulty TVs

A settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit filed against Samsung over a number of its television sets. The company is offering free repairs and up to $300 to customers who owned one of several TV models that were manufactured prior to December 31, 2008. The lawsuit alleged that a power defect caused TVs to experience a delay in turning on, making a clicking sound, cycling on and off, or simply not turning on at all. While Samsung denied the allegations, it agreed to settle to “avoid the costs and uncertainty of continued litigation.” Hit the break for a list of the models covered in the settlement. More →

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DoJ evidence suggests Apple, Google and others had illegal ‘no poach’ agreements

By on January 20, 2012 at 11:00 AM.

DoJ evidence suggests Apple, Google and others had illegal ‘no poach’ agreements

The Department of Justice recently released information that suggests a number of large U.S. technology companies may have created secret “no poaching” agreements with one another. The companies that have been under investigation include Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, Pixar, Adobe and Lucasfilm. The alleged no poaching agreements may have been pretty scary: According to TechCrunch, which published the DoJ’s early findings, companies were told to deny offers to anyone who applied for a job voluntarily from competing firms, and were to alert the employee’s current boss. That’s in addition to agreeing not to steal employees from one another. In one excerpt, Adobe’s senior vice president of human resources said: “Bruce [Adobe’s former CEO] and Steve Jobs have an agreement that we are not to solicit ANY Apple employees, and vice versa.” The results of the DoJ investigation will be revealed as part of a class-action lawsuit hearing in San Jose next week. More →

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Upset investors file class action lawsuit against Netflix

By on January 17, 2012 at 9:00 PM.

Upset investors file class action lawsuit against Netflix

Investors who were upset by Netflix’s poor decision making in 2011 have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company in a U.S. District Court in Northern California. “At the beginning of the class period, Netflix was facing increasing competition for streaming business, and content providers were exploring new ways to distribute their content and/or maximize their licensing fees,” the lawsuit reads. “Rather than fully disclose the devastating cost increases which were then threatening Netflix’s entire business, the defendants talked about [the company’s] ability to grow.” Netflix lost as many 800,000 customers during the third quarter of 2011 when it decided to raise its prices and spin off its DVD rental service into a new subsidiary called Qwikster. The spin-off decision was soon reversed but customers had already left in droves. According to paidContent, investors are also suing because several of Netflix’s executives sold stock before it tanked due to poor decision making. More →

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Apple, Samsung and six more companies sued over Carrier IQ scandal

By on December 5, 2011 at 11:30 AM.

Apple, Samsung and six more companies sued over Carrier IQ scandal

Apple, HTC, Samsung, Motorola, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Carrier IQ have been sued in a federal court by what the lawyers involved have deemed a “cell phone tracking software scandal.” Law firms Sianni & Straite LLP, Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy LLP, and Keefe Bartels L.L.C. have jointly filed a class action complaint in a Delaware Federal Court related to the “unprecedented breach of the digital privacy rights of 150 million cell phone users.” The complaint suggests that the aforementioned carriers and vendors violated the Federal Wiretap Act, the Stored Electronic Communications Act, and the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The suit of course refers to the companies’ use of Carrier IQ, the carrier and vendor-implemented cell phone spyware discovered recently on a number of handsets from multiple manufacturers. Read on for more. More →

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Lawsuits filed against HTC, Samsung and Carrier IQ

By on December 2, 2011 at 1:10 PM.

Lawsuits filed against HTC, Samsung and Carrier IQ

Class action lawsuits have been filed against Samsung, HTC and Carrier IQ. Carrier IQ has been in the spotlight after a security expert revealed that its software is installed on millions of smartphones and may be spying on users. Sprint and AT&T have both admitted to using the application, and other carriers likely use similar services, but both carriers have denied taking advantage of the software’s ability to spy on customers. The class action lawsuits are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of all U.S. residents, paidContent said Friday. Read on for more. More →

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Walmart may settle Netflix price fixing conspiracy case with $27.5 million payout

By on November 17, 2011 at 6:05 PM.

Walmart may settle Netflix price fixing conspiracy case with $27.5 million payout

Walmart has agreed to pay $27.5 million in damages to more than 25 million Netflix customers who subscribed to the service between May 19th, 2005 and September 2nd, 2011, as part of a settlement in a class-action lawsuit. Litigation was levied against the nationwide retailer after Walmart ditched efforts to run a DVD-by-mail business that would compete directly with Netflix. Reportedly, Walmart agreed to bail on its plans provided that Netflix pointed its customers to Walmart to purchase DVDs. Walmart has not admitted any wrongdoing and Netflix plans to continue fighting the charges during a January 23rd trial. While a tentative approval of the agreement was already granted by a judge in September, the final ruling will come during a court appearance scheduled for March 14th. Netflix members will receive payment in Walmart gift cards and cash. As MercuryNews points out, $6.9 million, or 25%, may be paid to Netflix’s lawyers while another $1.7 million will be paid out to cover legal fees. In that case, 25 million Netflix customers would have to divvy up the remaining $19 million, which means members would receive less than $1 each in damages on average. More →

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Class-action suit filed against RIM after BlackBerry outage

By on October 26, 2011 at 4:40 PM.

Class-action suit filed against RIM after BlackBerry outage

BlackBerry users have filed a class-action lawsuit against Research In Motion after the company’s massive service outage earlier this month, the Financial Post reported on Wednesday. The suit was officially filed by the Consumer Law Group in the Quebec Superior Court “on behalf of individuals who have BlackBerry smartphones and who pay for a monthly data plan but were unable to access their email, BlackBerry Messenger service (BBM), and/or Internet for the period of October 11 to 14, 2011.” It specifically focuses on “RIM’s failure to take action to either directly compensate BlackBerry users or to indirectly compensate BlackBerry users by arranging for wireless service providers to refunds their customers and to take full responsibility for these damages.” RIM’s BlackBerry outage lasted several days and spanned around the globe. The company’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis offered a public apology and RIM has offered limited free tech support in addition to a number of free “premium apps” as compensation, however, RIM currently has no plans to reimburse customers for the downtime. More →

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Microsoft gets its own ‘Locationgate’ scandal with accompanying class action lawsuit

By on September 1, 2011 at 12:25 PM.

Microsoft gets its own ‘Locationgate’ scandal with accompanying class action lawsuit

Apple has repeatedly accused Samsung of “copying” its products, but it looks like Microsoft is now the one following Apple’s lead. A class action lawsuit filed in Seattle on Wednesday accuses Microsoft of unlawfully tracking users of smartphones that run the company’s emerging Windows Phone 7 operating system. According to the complaint, the camera application in Microsoft’s Windows Phone software continues to track users’ locations and transmit that data to Microsoft even if users opt-out of Windows Phone’s tracking and feedback functions. The class action suit seeks an injunction as well as punitive damages. Earlier this year, Apple was caught tracking iPhone and iPad users’ locations and storing them in a hidden file on the devices. Apple would go on to state that the issue was caused by a bug, and the Cupertino-based company quickly issued a software update to remedy the problem. Numerous complaints were filed as a result of the scandal however, and while damages have been minimal so far, several cases are still outstanding. More →

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Judge shoots down Verizon customer class action suit

By on August 25, 2011 at 10:15 PM.

Judge shoots down Verizon customer class action suit

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has ruled that Verizon customers who take issue with “fraudulent” cell phone charges must arbitrate individually with the carrier instead of filing a class-action lawsuit in court, Reuters recently reported. A group of current and former Verizon Wireless customers originally filed a class-action lawsuit arguing that it was “unconscionable” for Verizon Wireless to require customers to arbitrate any unfair charges in their contracts. According to Reuters, arbitration can often be viewed as favorable for a large company because it can be more expensive for consumers to file charges in courts individually instead of as a group. In October of last year, the Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau ordered Verizon Wireless to pay $52.8 million to 15 million customers due to fraudulent data charges. More →

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Shareholder sues Motorola Mobility over Google sale

By on August 18, 2011 at 9:06 AM.

Shareholder sues Motorola Mobility over Google sale

A Motorola Mobility shareholder has initiated a class-action lawsuit against the company after CEO Sanjay Jha announced intentions to sell the firm to Google for $12.5 billion. The shareholder hopes to block the sale and argues that Motorola Mobility failed to shop around for the best price. “The offered consideration does not compensate shareholders for the company’s intrinsic value and stand-alone alternatives going forward, nor does it compensate shareholders for the company’s value as a strategic asset for Google,” investor John W. Keating said in the lawsuit. “Motorola has experienced an economic resurgence since separating into two separate companies,” he added. “The Android smartphone technology it relies on continues to gain ground on Apple’s iPhone.” If the deal is approved, Motorola Mobility will pay its investors $40 per share in cash. More →

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27,000 South Koreans sue Apple over iPhone privacy concerns

By on August 17, 2011 at 10:00 AM.

27,000 South Koreans sue Apple over iPhone privacy concerns

27,000 people have filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple in South Korea over concerns Apple collected private location data, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. The group is seeking 1 million won per person in damages, or about $930 each and just over $25 million total. In early August, the Korean Communications Commission fined Apple 3 million won ($2,829) following the “Locationgate” scandal that occurred earlier this year. Apple has stood by its claims that the location-tracking was the result of a bug that was fixed in a software update. The iPhone maker was also sued in the United States by two consumers in Florida and by one man in Puerto Rico. Apple paid South Korean lawyer Kim Hyung-suk $945 this past May after he filed a lawsuit against the company, and that is the only other recorded pay-out at this point regarding the iOS location tracking bug. More →

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