Apple is set to enter the courtroom again in December, according to The New York Times. This time, the Cupertino firm will face a class action lawsuit levied against it by consumers who took issue with the way it sold music for the iPod, back when the iPod was the most popular MP3 player on the market. This suit, like several others before it, will include e-mails from Steve Jobs that were sent to other executives years ago.
The class action lawsuit is focused on one key issue: consumers were upset that Apple required them to buy music from iTunes for use and playback only on Apple products. This sort of closed system meant that consumers couldn’t really walk away from the iPod to another music player, since all of the music they had purchased were locked into Apple’s ecosystem. The argument, according to The New York Times, is that Apple was violating antitrust laws by taking this approach to music sales. Things have changed, and today you can download music from a variety of sources to your iOS-powered iPad, iPod or iPhone.
One bit of evidence that will be used in the suit is an e-mail from Steve Jobs that pretty much clearly lays out Apple’s intentions to block other music services and songs from operating on its iPod. “We need to make sure that when Music Match launches their download music store they cannot use iPod,” Jobs wrote in one e-mail shared by The New York Times. “Is this going to be an issue?”
It turns out it did become an issue. Apple faces up to a $350 million fine. All things considered, however, that’s just a drop in the bucket for the company, which is now valued at about $669 billion.