Class action lawsuit over iPhone/AT&T exclusivity gets certified -- should it go to court?
The class action lawsuit against AT&T's US iPhone exclusivity has been certified, which means a judge thinks it meets the legal requirements to go forward. If you remember back, The crux of suit states that customer contracts are 2 years, but the AT&T exclusivity is 5 years -- so customers were falsely lured to AT&T for 5 years, not 2 -- if they want to keep iPhones, that is. The lawsuit seeks to include all current AT&T iPhone customers.
Now, whether or not that original 5 year exclusivity has changed over the past few years is anyone's guess -- the only people who know that for sure are the AT&T and Apple higher ups that sign the contracts. In this day and age, contracts change constantly.
My opinion? I don't know if a court will buy this as falsely leading on customers. Most carriers don't ever specify how long their exclusivity deals are, it's all hearsay until they announce it. Yes, the iPhone deal is unique in length (I don't believe any carrier has ever had an exclusive anywhere even close to the length AT&T scored with Apple), but I don't necessarily know if I believe it misleads customers. When the first iPhone was released, the 5 year deal was already publicized, even if it was hearsay, and people still bought iPhones. And honestly, if you get an iPhone, no one's forcing you to get another one. If you upgrade and lock yourself in, that's pretty much your decision, your hand isn't forced.
We'll watch this one but I personally don't think it will go very far.