A US federal judge says a monopoly abuse lawsuit against Apple Inc and AT&T Inc’s mobile phone unit can move forward as a class action. \nThe lawsuit consolidates several filed by iPhone buyers starting in late 2007, a few months after the first generation of Apple’s smartphone went on sale. \nAn amended complaint filed in June 2008 takes issue with Apple’s practice of “locking” iPhones so they can only be used on AT&T’s network and its absolute control over what applications iPhone owners can and cannot install on the gadgets. \nThe lawsuit also says Apple secretly made AT&T its exclusive iPhone partner in the US for five years. Consumers agreed to two-year contracts with the wireless carrier when they purchased their phones, but were in effect locked into a five-year relationship with AT&T, the lawsuit said. \nThe actions hurt competition and drove up prices for consumers, the lawsuit claims. \nApple and AT&T have not commented on the terms of their deal. In its response to the complaint, Cupertino, California-based Apple said it did not hurt competition. \nIn court documents filed on Thursday last week, Judge James Ware of the US District Court for the Northern District of California said parts of the lawsuit that deal with violations to antitrust law can continue as a class action. The class includes anyone who bought an iPhone with a two-year AT&T agreement since the device first went on sale in June 2007. \nApple has sold more than 50 million iPhones in the last three years. The company does not specify how many have gone to US customers. \nThe lawsuit seeks an injunction to keep Apple from selling locked iPhones in the US and from determining what iPhone applications people can install. It also seeks damages to cover legal fees and other costs.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations