A jury on Tuesday unanimously cleared Apple of antitrust violations for iPod restrictions, capping a decade-long case and a week-long trial that had no shortage of drama and confusion.
The plaintiffs represented a group of digital music consumers who purchased iPods from 2006 to 2009 and alleged that Apple unfairly locked users into iTunes software on iPods, and in turn, locked out competitors. They sought damages of close to $350 million, which could have gone to $1 billion had Apple been found in violation of antitrust laws. Apple said it was only innovating its product by protecting customers from computer security intrusions and creating a better consumer experience for iPod users. In the end, the jury decided unanimously that the computer giant made legitimate product and security improvements to its iPod digital music devices and its iTunes software and store.The trial had several twists, as several plaintiffs representing the class action suit were dismissed, and for a time it looked as though plaintiffs' lawyers might not even have a plaintiff. The plaintiffs are expected to appeal the verdict.
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-- Mark Berniker and Matt Hunter, CNBC