Arguments in the class action lawsuit against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) continue today, and attorneys accuse the company of even more despicable behavior. The antitrust case deals with Apple’s iTunes music download service and how the company attempted to keep competitors out of the music player market.
Apple admits to deleting songs
Apple executives confessed that the company did indeed delete songs from users’ iTunes libraries without their permission. According to The Wall Street Journal, attorneys for the plaintiffs told jurors on Wednesday that Apple purposely deleted songs that had been downloaded from rival music services from consumers’ iPods between 2007 and 2009.
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During those years, iTunes users who purchased music from a competing music service received errors when trying to sync their iPods with their iTunes library. The error message told iPod owners to restore the device’s factory settings, and when they did that, the music downloaded from competing music services disappeared.
Apple apparently set up the deletion so that it happened without informing iPod users that it had deleted the music.
Apple claims it was about security
The plaintiffs’ attorneys argued that the decision was anticompetitive in nature and a further demonstration of Apple’s attempts to keep competitors out of the music player market. Apple could have to pay as much as $350 million in damages in the case if jurors side with consumers.
The case alleges that Apple tried to force consumers to pay more for iPods rather than buying a less expensive player from one of the company’s rivals. Apple claims it deleted the music for security reasons. The company’s security director testified that they “don’t need to give users too much information” because they “don’t want to confuse users.”
He also said that they were extremely paranoid about protecting users’ iTunes accounts because of threats from hackers with names like “Requiem” and “DVD Jon.” He said they deleted non-iTunes music in order to protect consumers from having their iTunes accounts hacked.
Steve Jobs’ emails used
Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ emails were again used as evidence in this week’s antitrust trial, just as they have been in past trials. While many of his emails have been incriminating in nature, Apple’s attorneys used some of them to show that he was concerned about security. Speaking about music piracy, Jobs wrote, “Someone is breaking into our house.”
This week software head Eddy Cue and marketing chief Phil Schiller are still expected to testify in the case.