Lawsuit accuses Apple and Amazon of complicity in raising iPhone prices

Lawsuit accuses Apple and Amazon of complicity in raising iPhone prices

A lawsuit filed in Washington state on Wednesday alleges that Apple and Amazon worked together to raise the prices of iPhones and iPads sold on the retail site.

The An antitrust class action claims that Amazon is the largest online electronics retailer, capturing about 82% of the market and selling Apple products directly while also allowing third party users to sell new or used devices. The complaint alleges that because Apple and Amazon do not profit from third-party user sales, they suppressed Apple sellers through a “horizontal agreement that eliminated nearly all of Apple’s sellers in the Amazon marketplace.”

According to the lawsuit, there are now only seven Apple-approved retailers on the platform, down from above 600. up to 10%. The lawsuit alleges that this discount is contingent upon sellers’ inability to sell Apple products on Amazon.

The complaint claims that as a result of this agreement, Amazon shoppers began paying more for Apple devices on the site.

“With virtually all other Apple vendors excluded from the platform, price competition deteriorated almost immediately,” the lawsuit says. “The steep discounts on Apple products that consumers once enjoyed on the Amazon Marketplace have eroded, with prices steadily rising.”

The lawsuit alleged that the prices of iPhones and iPads sold on Amazon’s market rose “by more than 10 percent,” citing data before and after the alleged agreement was implemented.

Apple and Amazon have not yet responded to requests for comment from CBS News.

The lawsuit was filed by attorneys from Hagens Berman, a law firm that has sued Apple in the past, including in a case It resulted in the recovery of $400 million for e-book buyers. In this case, Apple was accused of working with five major e-book publishers to drive up prices. US District Judge Dennis Cote in New York ruled that the technology company had violated antitrust law.

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