- On July 11, 2012, the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California rebuffed another attempt by plaintiffs’ class action counsel to circumvent the Supreme Court’s decision in Concepcion. Plaintiffs’ counsel, whose suit against AT&T Mobility and Apple for antitrust claims was dismissed earlier this year, filed a new suit with new plaintiffs in late December 2011 against Apple alone, complaining again about AT&T’s and Apple’s allegedly anticompetitive agreement to share voice and data revenue and to control the aftermarket for applications. Apple first argued that this new case should likewise be dismissed and ordered to arbitration on the basis of the AT&T customer agreement, to which it complained to be a beneficiary. The N.D. Cal. disagreed, finding that some of the claims against Apple alone “might not be judged to be ‘intertwined with’ the service agreement issued by” AT&T. But the court did agree with Apple that AT&T was a necessary party in the case, and thus ordered the plaintiffs (if they choose to continue pursuing the suit in light of AT&T’s addition) to file an amended complaint adding AT&T Mobility as a party. The court was unmoved by plaintiffs’ prediction that AT&T “will immediately move to compel arbitration of the claims against it,” noting that plaintiffs cited no law that made that factor relevant in deciding whether joining an additional party makes it feasible for the party to be joined. Plaintiffs were given until the end of the month to file the amended complaint. In re Apple iPhone Antitrust Litigation, No. C 11-06714 (N.D. Cal.).
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In the courts
- Arent Fox LLP
- Ross A. Buntrock , Jonathan E. Canis , Michael B. Hazzard , Stephanie A. Joyce and Adam D. Bowser
- July 16 2012
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