Amazon and Apple have been charged with collaborating to raise iPhone and iPad prices to eliminate competition.

The class-action antitrust suit alleges the tech giants wiped almost all Apple resellers from Amazon’s website.

Amazon is the leading online electronics retailer, holding around 82 percent of the market.

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It directly sells Apple products while enabling third-party users to sell new or old gadgets.

But the lawsuit filed in Washington state claims that since Apple and Amazon do not profit from third-party user sales, they have hindered Apple resellers.

It adds that there are currently seven authorized Apple resellers on the marketplace, down from 600.

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As the supposed pact between Apple and Amazon was completed in 2019, the online retailer has received constant Apple supply at up to a 10 percent discount.

That discount is contingent on resellers being unable to sell Apple products on Amazon.

As a result of this agreement, Amazon customers began paying extra for Apple products on the site.

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The complaint states: “With virtually all other Apple resellers eliminated from the platform, price competition deteriorated almost immediately.

“The steep discounts on Apple products that consumers once enjoyed on Amazon Marketplace eroded, with prices rising steadily.” 

Prices for iPhones and iPads offered on the Amazon Marketplace have risen by “more than 10 percent.”

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Apple and Amazon have yet to respond to requests for comments.

The current suit was filed by attorneys from Hagens Berman.

The law firm has previously sued Apple, notably in a case that resulted in a $400 million refund to e-book buyers.

Apple was accused in that case of conspiring with five big e-book publishers to hike prices.

Source: CBS News

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