Apple in December will have to defend against decade-old iPod antitrust allegations in the third major antitrust case since Steve Jobs died, The New York Times reports, with Apple’s co-founder and iconic leader expected to play a major role in the lawsuit. Interestingly, however, he will be used as a witness against Apple.
Specifically, emails sent by Jobs during the iPod’s glory days are expected to be used against Apple in the trial, with damages potentially amounting to $350 million.
Apparently, Jobs wasn’t exactly careful explaining his intentions regarding iPod competitors, which is why some of his emails have already been used in other trials against Apple.
Jobs was a “genius in terms of his vision for the future,” Rutgers School of Law professor Michael A. Carrier said. “But it went along with a really healthy ego and perhaps the lack of an antitrust filter — thinking about how these words would appear years later tossed up on the screen in front of a jury.”
One such email from 2003 that was already disclosed to the public shows Jobs’s take on making the iPod compatible with competing services. “We need to make sure that when Music Match launches their download music store they cannot use iPod,” he wrote. “Is this going to be an issue?”
Apple is basically accused of having violated antitrust laws by forcing iPod buyers to download music only from the iTunes store or CDs, but not competing stores or services.
Additionally, a videotaped deposition of Jobs taken before his death will also be used by the plaintiffs’ lawyers.
“We will present evidence that Apple took action to block its competitors and in the process harmed competition and harmed consumers,” the plaintiffs’ lead attorney Bonny Sweeney said.