Lawsuit accuses Apple, Amazon of collusion to raise iPhone prices

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

The class-action antitrust lawsuit alleges that Amazon is the largest online retailer of electronics, capturing about 82% of the market and selling Apple products directly while allowing third-party users to sell new or used devices. allows. The complaint alleges that because Apple and Amazon do not benefit from sales by third-party users, they are pushing Apple resellers “with a horizontal agreement that eliminated nearly all Apple resellers on the Amazon Marketplace.”

According to the lawsuit, now only seven authorized Apple resellers are present on the platform, down from the high of 600. Since the alleged agreement between Apple and Amazon was finalized in 2019, the online retailer has been consistently provided with Apple supplies at a discount. up to 10%. The lawsuit alleges that this discount is dependent on resellers not being able to sell Apple products on Amazon.

As a result of this settlement, the complaint alleged, Amazon buyers began paying more for Apple devices on the site.

“With nearly all other Apple resellers eliminated from the platform, price competition worsened almost immediately,” the lawsuit reads. “The huge discounts on Apple products that consumers once enjoyed on the Amazon Marketplace have diminished as prices continue to rise.”

Citing data before and after the alleged settlement came into force, the suit claimed that the prices of iPhones and iPads sold in the Amazon Marketplace increased by “more than 10 percent.”

Apple and Amazon have yet to respond to requests for comment from CBS News.

The lawsuit was filed by lawyers for Hagens Berman, a law firm that has sued Apple in the past, including a case resulting in a $400 million refund For e-book buyers. In that case, Apple was accused of working with five major e-book publishers to raise prices. US District Judge Dennis Cote in New York ruled that the tech company had violated antitrust law.

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