On Tuesday, a jury of 8 members rendered its verdict after a few hours of deliberation, determining that Apple did not use software that blocked songs sold by iTunes competitors from playing on the iPod.
The decision wraps up a class-action antitrust lawsuit that has lingered over Apple’s head for more than 10 years before finally going to federal court early December.
The decade old lawsuit involved iPods that were sold between 2006 and 2009 that accused the device from seemingly only playing songs purchased from the iTunes store or downloaded from CD’s, and not music purchased from a competing online store. Apple was also accused of violating antitrust laws citing that the company used copyright management systems forcing consumers to purchase iPods instead of cheaper alternative devices.
The case kicked off Monday with the jury instructed to assess whether Apple’s iTunes software versions improved over the course of two versions. Eventually, the jury was persuaded to find Apple innocent of the charges after numerous plaintiffs were found to have no complaints or evidence related to the software. Apple lawyers also threw out several members in the class-action suit after showing proof that their devices had been purchased after the dates in question.
Finally, Roger Noll, a testifying plaintiff from Stanford University claimed that he had not assessed any impact made by the software versions in questions.