Apple-AT&T Deal Sparks Class Action Anti-trust Lawsuit

A California Judge has granted class action status to an anti-trust lawsuit filed against Apple and US wireless firm AT&T over a deal signed between the two to exclusively supply the iPhone in the US, ZD Net has reported.

The lawsuit, first filed in October 2007, questions whether consumers who first bought an iPhone on a two-year contract were aware that they were actually entering a five-year contract with AT&T, owing to the exclusivity deal signed between the two companies.

Due to the deal, customers were unable to take their iPhones to another network.

Recently leaked court documents show that Apple and AT&T signed a five-year exclusivity contract. Neither company announced the length of the deal when the first iPhone was released in the US.

Class action status will allow anyone who bought the iPhone from 29 June 2005 onwards to take part in the lawsuit.

Both Apple and AT&T are yet to comment on the issue.