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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