Apple objects to discovery request of secret Steve Jobs and Eddy Cue depositions

According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, Apple is objecting to a discovery request in a class action case against Universal Music Group that seeks the release of trial exhibits, expert reports, and depositions from former CEO Steve Jobs and Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue.

The depositions were originally given in a case between F.B.T. Productions, producers of Eminem records, and Universal Music group division Aftermath Records. That case is about to go to trial, but Apple is filing an objection to the discovery request from the class action that would alter an existing protective order, claiming the depositions and documents are “highly confidential and proprietary trade secrets.”

In its objection, Apple apparently referenced the fact that most involved in the case were sent out of the room during the depositions and claimed if released it could lead to “competitive harm”:
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Apple eBook price-fixing lawsuits hit Canada following DOJ suit

Following an investigation into alleged eBook price-fixing, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and publishers Macmillan and Penguin earlier this month, who refused to settle. Other publishers, including Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, settled and reached an agreement to return Amazon to its previous wholesale model and dismantle Apple’s agency model. The settlement also included agreements with select states that would see $51 million in restitution paid to those who purchased eBooks through Apple’s platform. Now, several Canadian publications are reporting class-action lawsuits were filed against Apple and the five publishers throughout Canada.

Lawyer Normand Painchaud spoke with The Montreal Gazette about his class-action suit filed in Quebec Superior Court and talked about two others filed in Ontario and British Columbia:

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iPhone 4 ‘Antenna-gate’ settlement reached, puts problem to bed for $15/owner


CNET reported that Apple settled 18 suits bundled as a Class-action lawsuit over the “Antennagate” “scandal.”  Each iPhone 4 owner (it is not clear if Verizon iPhone 4 users who had different radios/Antenna are exempt) is entitled to a $15 cash settlement or a bumper. Apple began offering bumpers to users shortly after the release and the subsequent press conference to address the issue (as well as returns, no restocking fee or questions asked).

The settlement found:

Apple was “misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4–particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software.”

The settlement has its own Web site, http://www.iPhone4Settlement.com, which will be up in the coming weeks (the site doesn’t go anywhere right now). There, customers will be able to get information about the settlement and how to make a claim. As part of the arrangement, e-mails will also be sent alerting original buyers to the settlement before April 30, 2012. The claims period is then open for 120 days.

“We believe that the Apple iPhone 4 settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable,” said co-lead counsel Ira Rothken, who represents the class, to CNET. “We believe that it allows members of the class to choose, and they can get $15 of cash or a bumper, so we believe that type of choice is proportional to the circumstances.”

Consumer Reports, who could not recommend the iPhone 4 based on the problem, demonstrated above, said the iPhone 4S was free of this issue.

Apple still sells the iPhone 4 with what we believe is the same design as the one used above, so it is not certain how this settlement will affect those sales.

Update: Statement from Apple via the Loop:

“This settlement relates to a small number of customers who indicated that they experienced antenna or reception issues with their iPhone 4 and didn’t want to take advantage of a free case from Apple while it was being offered in 2010,”

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Evidence looks bad for Apple, Google and others in anti-poaching class action suit

It appears the U.S. Justice Department has some solid evidence against companies including Apple, Google, Adobe, Intuit, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Intel.  TechCrunch obtained a document from the DOJ that is now posted to Scribd.  Among the pieces of evidence, include:

The DOJ settled with the six companies, but a class action lawsuit is pending.  The complaint regards entering into non-poach and no bidding war agreements. The above mentioned companies allegedly lowered employee compensation artificially while hindering mobility.

The plaintiffs seek damages for any salaried employee who worked for one of the defendants during a 4-year period in the late 2000s. That means a lot of Silicon Valley tech workers could receive a payout if the defendants lose or settle the case. The civil case will be heard by Judge Koh in San Jose starting January 26th, 2011

The defendants, including Apple, asked the case to be dismissed, stating that the DOJ found “no overarching conspiracy” and that these bilateral agreements were separate.
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