Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation
Professors Kevin M. Murphy and Robert Topel advised counsel to Apple, Jones Day, throughout this long-running case which dates to 2005. Murphy and Topel advised Boies, Schiller & Flexner at trial and testified on economic issues and competitive effects. The matter involved a software upgrade to the iPod system, which plaintiffs alleged gave Apple an unfair advantage over competitors. On December 16, 2014, after three hours of deliberation, a jury in the US District Court for the Northern District of California found the Apple software upgrade was innovative and did not harm consumers.
A key point at trial was whether certain features of Apple’s iTunes 7.0 update unfairly prevented users with competitors’ devices from gaining access to the iTunes library. Professor Murphy’s testimony addressed the competitive issues of an open versus an integrated system (iPod, iTunes and the Apple Store), which is designed to improve the user experience and ultimately benefit consumers. Professor Topel testified on the econometric analysis of impact and damages put forward by the plaintiffs, noting the impossibility of separating the challenged iTunes 7.0 features from other iPod and iTunes enhancements that improved the overall user experience. CRA’s team also included Anita Garten, Ricardo Cossa, and Mensur Muhamedagic.