Use An iPhone? You May Be Hearing From A Class-Action Lawsuit Group

A handful of suits against the iPhone maker seek to crack down on everything from app store purchases to messaging.

A businessman carrying a closed laptop walks outside a building while looking at his phone.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s not just the Department of Justice (DOJ) — Apple is facing a handful of class-action lawsuits that could affect millions of consumers.

Most recently, according to a Reuters report, at least three class-action suits in California and New Jersey were filed on March 22, a day after the DOJ and 16 other state and district attorneys general slapped the iPhone maker with an antitrust suit, charging that it illegally monopolizes the smartphone market and stifles competition. According to the report, the class-action suits bring charges similar to what the government alleges. 

The suits deal with various aspects of the tech giant's business model, from the app store to its dial wallet to messaging, alleging that Apple has forced users to exclusively use its high-cost digital offerings.

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One of the class-action complaints filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California charges that Apple's smartphones have technological, psychological and expense barriers that make it difficult for users to leave its platform and buy other non-Apple devices.

“By trapping consumers in its ecosystem, Apple has severely restricted competition from other smartphone manufacturers to unlawfully maintain a durable monopoly over the market,” the complaint charges. “As a monopolist, Apple has overcharged hundreds of millions of consumers on smartphones while generating historic returns.”

Two other class actions filed

The three suits against Apple follow at least two others, which are filed in the same district court. One of the two class-action suits charges that you're overpaying for Apple iCloud storage. The suit, filed on March 1, alleges that Apple makes it difficult for customers to use alternative data storage options. 

In February, a district judge certified that a separate class-action suit can proceed against Apple. In this suit, class members allege that Apple is monopolizing the iPhone app market.

Next steps

While these suits are still in the early stages, they are expected to eventually consist of millions of Apple users, experts say.

In general, class actions can take years to litigate, and that is if they are litigated. Some cases result in settlements, and the payout for each class member may not always be significant.

Earlier this year, Apple settled a battery slowdown class-action suit, agreeing to pay up to $500 million. Each claimant in the 2018 iPhone case is expected to receive a payout of $92.17 during the coming weeks.

Verizon agreed to a $100 million class-action settlement earlier this year, which is expected to result in a $15 to $100 payout, depending on how long Verizon users were customers as well as the number of other settlement class members. (The deadline to submit a claim in the Verizon case is April 15.)

The law firms handling class actions will post a form on their websites for potential claimants. If they find you eligible, you could be invited to join the class-action suit. In certain suits, you may be automatically included.

Seattle-based law firm Hagens Berman, which has filed a number of cases against Apple over the years and is involved in at least two of the recent cases against the company, has a form and more information about the complaint it filed on its website.

To find out more about class-action suits, go to, which also allows you to track settlements.


Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a reporter covering finance, tech and science. She previously covered biotech and health at Crunchbase News and enterprise technology at Business Insider.