Apple £853M IPhone Battery Class Action

Apple £853M IPhone Battery Class Action

Apple failed in its bid to challenge an £853 million ($1 billion) proposed class action accusing the tech giant of concealing problems with batteries in the phones of 24 million customers. An appeals court ruled Friday that the claim has prospects of success.

Apple £853M IPhone Battery Class Action : Court of Appeal Decision

The Court of Appeal determined that Britain’s antitrust tribunal was justified in allowing Justin Gutmann, the representative of the proposed class, to sue Apple on behalf of iPhone users in the U.K. Gutmann’s claim alleges Apple hid problems with defective batteries from iPhone users.

The court dismissed Apple’s argument that Gutmann had no real prospect of proving at trial that consumer backlash would have forced Apple to compensate users had the battery flaws been known.

“This was an evaluative decision that the [Competition Appeal Tribunal] was entitled to reach on the evidence before it … and we do not think that there is any realistic prospect that this court would interfere with it,” the two-judge panel stated.

Apple £853M IPhone Battery Class Action : Collective Proceedings Order

Apple sought to overturn a CAT decision from November that provisionally granted Gutmann a collective proceedings order, contingent on resolving funding arrangement questions. The claim asserts that Apple abused its dominance in the software and hardware markets to conceal performance problems with batteries in certain phone models. Apple is also accused of installing a power management feature (PMF) that limited performance.

Class Representative and Technical Issues

The court affirmed the CAT’s decision to allow Gutmann to act as proposed class representative, despite him not being an iPhone user. Apple portrayed Gutmann as “a professional litigant” with no connection to the affected consumers. However, the tribunal found these arguments lacked merit.