Apple won an antitrust trial on Tuesday after a Federal jury rejected a decade old lawsuit, which accused Cupertino of deliberately deleting songs purchased from competing digital music services from its users’ iPods in a bid to secure a monopoly over the digital music market.
The eight-member jury in an Oakland, California federal court rejected a claim brought in by attorneys for consumers and iPod resellers, who were seeking about $350 million in damages in a class-action lawsuit.
The plaintiffs accused Apple of breaching antitrust laws and limiting consumers’ choice in digital music players by restricting them from loading non-iTunes music to their iPods. The lawsuit involved iPods sold between Sept. 2006 and March 2009.
During the trial, Apple explained that the deletion of non-iTunes music files was aimed at protecting users from hacking attacks and contained many desirable features, including movies and auto-synchronisation.
The jury determined that Apple had used an update of the iTunes software, issued 8 years ago, to deliver genuine improvements for older iPods.
“We thank the jury for their service and we applaud their verdict,” Apple said in a statement.
“We created iPod and iTunes to give our customers the world’s best way to listen to music. Every time we’ve updated those products — and every Apple product over the years — we’ve done it to make the user experience even better.”
Patrick Coughlin, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said “the jury called it like they saw it.” He said the plaintiffs planned to appeal the verdict.