Apple is being sued by an unhappy iTunes Music Store customer who claims he was forced to buy an iPod.

Thomas Slattery is alleging that Apple is breaking antitrust laws by only allowing iTunes to work with the iPod. According to Reuters, Slattery claims he was "forced to purchase an Apple iPod."


The suit claims the company has: "Unlawfully bundled, tied, and/or leveraged its monopoly in the market for the sale of legal online digital music recordings to thwart competition in the separate market for portable hard drive digital music players, and vice-versa."

It continues: "Apple has turned an open and interactive standard into an artifice that prevents consumers from using the portable hard drive digital music player of their choice, even where players exist that would otherwise be able to play these music files absent Apple's actions."

Long Shot

George Mason University antitrust law professor Ernest Gellhorn thinks that the suit is a "long shot". He told Reuters that the key to such a lawsuit would be convincing a court that a single product brand like iTunes is a market in itself separate from the rest of the online music market.

He told Reuters: "Courts usually conclude competing products as viable alternatives. As a practical matter, the lower courts have been highly sceptical of such claims."

Post your thoughts on this story here