Apple digital music antitrust suit moves ahead

The Tucker v. Apple lawsuit, which alleges that Apple has used "crippleware" and other tactics to dominate digital music, is on track to be consolidated with a similar case.

The Tucker v. Apple lawsuit, which alleges that Apple has used "crippleware" and other tactics to dominate digital music, is on track to be consolidated with a similar case. In addition, a series of dates have been proposed to certify the suit as a class action.

As a brief recap, Apple is being sued for not supporting Windows Media audio files and using other tactics to lock customers into its platform. Apple first tried to get the antitrust lawsuit dismissed, but the judge didn't budge. It later filed a response that scoffed at most of the claims.

In a filing Jan. 18, U.S. District Judge James Ware ordered lawyers for both parties to show why the Tucker v. Apple suit shouldn't be consolidated with a related one, Charoensak v. Apple Computer Inc.

That leaves the following key dates--outlined in a Jan. 17 filing (PDF download)--as a case road map:

--Feb. 12: Deadline for both parties to file responses on the consolidations of related cases.

--March 5: Court will conduct a hearing on consolidating cases.

--March 16: Deadline for Tucker lawyers to file and serve class certification.

--March 19: Hearing to coordinate Tucker and Charoensak class certification proceedings.

--April 20: Apple deadline to file its opposition to class action certification.

--May 11: Deadline for Tucker to reply Apple's filing.

Meanwhile, the two sides are expected to haggle over the discovery process.

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