iPhone Owners Not Necessarily Required to Arbitrate Monopolization Claims Against Apple

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iPhone, iPhone 3G and 3GS

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In In re Apple iPhone Antitrust Litig., No. C 11-06714 JW (N.D. Cal. July 11, 2012) (Ware, J.), the court found that arbitration provisions in consumers’ service agreements with AT&T Mobility, LLC (“ATTM”) did not necessarily apply to antitrust claims brought by a class of consumers against Apple. Two of the plaintiffs’ three causes of action involved an alleged aftermarket for applications for the iPhone, and thus might pertain solely to Apple’s solitary actions with regard to applications for its iPhones. They thus might not be “intertwined with” the service agreement issued by ATTM. Because ATTM was a necessary party but had not been joined, the court gave the plaintiffs leave to amend their complaint to add ATTM, and denied Apple’s motion to compel arbitration without prejudice.

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