Apple sued again for monopolistic behavior
The KardiaBand for the Apple Watch was pulled from the market in 2019
When Apple accepted AliveCor’s products for the Apple Watch, it also allowed the company’s SmartRhythm app to be listed in the App Store. The app worked with the KardiaBand, but Apple soon said that it violated unwritten App Store guidelines. As the court filing from the plaintiff notes, “When AliveCor pushed back, Apple responded by literally rewriting the rules.”
Apple kept demanding that changes be made to the SmartRhythm app which AliveCor met every time. But then the tech giant made the ultimate move when it changed its heart rate algorithm for the watch to make sure that SmartRhythm and other apps competing with Apple would not work.
Apple actions were “rotten to the core” says AliveCor
The court filing explains how greed was behind Apple’s actions which were similar to how it monopolizes other markets. AliveCor said, “But, as it has done multiple times over the years in other markets, Apple decided that it would not accept competition on the merits. Almost immediately after AliveCor started selling KardiaBand and its apps, Apple began a concentrated campaign to corner the market for heart rate analysis on the Apple Watch, because the value of controlling such critical health data (with the accompanying ability to exploit it) was apparently too much of a temptation for Apple.”
AliveCor gets pretty rough on Apple and states, “With a single update, Apple thus eliminated competition that consumers clearly wanted and needed, depriving them of choice for heart rate analysis that is better than what Apple can provide. And all for an incremental value gain for an already-two-trillion-dollar company. And if that isn’t enough the plaintiff says, “Apple’s anticompetitive conduct was and remains rotten to the core.”
AliveCor is asking for damages, treble damages (which simply means triple the damages), Attorney’s fees, Costs; Pre-judgment and post-judgment interest at the maximum rate permitted under the law; Punitive damages; Injunctive relief, including but not limited to an injunction barring Apple’s conduct alleged in the Complaint; Declaratory relief, including but not limited to a declaration and judgment that Apple’s conduct alleged in the Complaint violates the laws alleged in the Complaint; and Such other and further relief as the Court deems proper and just.
Unlike the Epic v. Apple trial which is a bench trial without a jury (the judge will make the final decision), AliveCor seeks a jury trial.