Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over iBricking — Violation Of Antitrust Law?

While the last class action lawsuit over the iPhone was pretty ridiculous — claiming that the rapid price drop was illegal — this latest one may have a bit more substance behind it. One of the victims of the infamous iPhone iBricking update has now filed a class action lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the iBricking action was a violation of California law. The specific arguments are a bit complex, but basically, the guy is claiming that in locking the handset to one carrier, Apple violated sections of the Cartwright Act, which is designed to prevent companies from creating artificial market barriers on products they sell in order to boost the price. On top of that, the lawsuit notes that unlocking a phone for use on other networks is perfectly legal under last year’s DMCA exemptions. Therefore, to then brick the iPhones that were unlocked violates the California law, saying that it’s illegal to take actions that “substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly.” It may be a bit of a stretch to say that applies in this case, and Apple can simply plead (reasonably) that the iBricking was not on purpose, and that the company has no requirement to support unlocked handsets — but if this case actually does get some traction, Apple may need to be a bit more careful in future firmware updates.