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Apple and Amazon Conspired to Raise iPhone Prices? Check shocking claim

Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. were accused in a lawsuit of making an illegal deal to drive up prices for iPhones and iPads by wiping out hundreds of third-party sellers.

Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. were accused in a lawsuit of making an illegal deal to drive up prices for iPhones and iPads by wiping out hundreds of third-party sellers who often offered huge discounts.

Consumer Steven Floyd says an “illegal boycott deal” between Apple and Amazon forced him to pay $319.99 for an iPad when he should have been discounted in a “normal competitive market,” according to the proposed class-action complaint filed in Seattle Federal Court.

The lawsuit comes as Amazon faces antitrust investigations by states and regulators over policies involving third-party sellers. California sued Amazon in September for forcing third-party sellers to agree to policies that lead to “artificially inflated prices” for consumers. Amazon denies doing anything wrong in that case.

Apple banned Amazon from selling some of its fast-selling products directly because it didn’t like competition from resellers in the market, forcing the e-commerce company to buy Apple products at higher prices from other sources, Floyd said in his suit. But according to the complaint, the companies struck a deal in 2018 to exclude nearly 600 third-party sellers from Amazon’s site.

“In exchange for eliminating the Apple resellers that drove down the online prices for Apple products, Apple agreed to offer Amazon consistent deliveries at a discount of up to 10% – subject to its ability to sell the excluded sellers of Apple products. Amazon Marketplace,” Floyd said.

That hurt consumers and third-party merchants, according to the complaint, which seeks compensation for all consumers harmed by the companies’ behavior.

Apple and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Major brands, including Apple, have struggled with counterfeit products that are ubiquitous on Amazon. Apple accused a New Jersey company in a 2016 lawsuit of selling fake Apple products on Amazon. The Seattle-based e-commerce company has introduced several tools to curb counterfeiting, also limiting who can sell what in the popular online store.

Apple and Amazon have publicly justified their agreement as a way to tackle counterfeiting, Floyd said in his complaint. But “when the illegal boycott agreement was entered into, tools to eradicate counterfeiting were already available.”

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