Apples actions were rotten to the core says the latest lawsuit calling the firm anticompetitive
Apples actions were rotten to the core says the latest lawsuit calling the firm anticompetitive


Late Tuesday a company called AliveCor Inc. filed a lawsuit Apple having monopolistic behavior related to the heart monitoring technology used on the Apple Watch. According to Scribd (via 9to5Mac) The lawsuit filed Tuesday in the US District Court for the Northern District of California alleged that Apple stole its technology and acted “predatory” and “exclusive”. When Apple added an electrocardiogram (EKG) feature to its watch in 2018, AliveCor said Apple had “stolen AliveCor’s cardiac detection and analysis technology.”

Apple sued again for monopoly behavior

AliveCors KardiaBand was a band for the Apple Watch that also had an EKG function and was “the first FDA-approved accessory for the Apple Watch”. Priya Abani, CEO of AliveCor, said, “AliveCor created the world’s first personal EKG and aims to become the 24/7 virtual cardiologist for patients. Apple’s tactics in the heart rate analysis market have stunted competition, reduced consumer choice, and potentially harmed public health. ” “”

When Apple accepted AliveCor’s products for the Apple Watch, the company’s SmartRhythm app was also listed in the App Store. The app worked with the KardiaBand, but Apple soon said it was violating unwritten App Store guidelines. As the plaintiff’s court found: “When AliveCor pushed back, Apple responded by literally rewriting the rules.”

Apple kept calling for changes to the SmartRhythm app, which AliveCor hit every time. But then the tech giant took the ultimate move when it changed its heart rate algorithm for the watch to make sure SmartRhythm and other apps that rival Apple wouldn’t work.

Apple actions are “rotten to the core,” says AliveCor

The court record explains how greed was behind Apple’s actions, which were similar to those of monopolizing other markets. AliveCor said, “But, as has happened several times in other markets over the years, Apple decided not to accept competition on the matter. Almost immediately after AliveCor began selling KardiaBand and its apps, Apple launched one concentrated campaign to solve the problem. ” Heart Rate Monitor market on Apple Watch as the value of controlling such critical health data (and the ability to use it) has apparently been too much of a temptation for Apple. “

AliveCor no longer offers the KardiaBand 2019 and the SmartRhythm app has not been available in the App Store for a long time. The company is now selling KardiaMobile 6L, a mobile product that works with an app to take a 6-lead EKG anywhere. The test is important because an abnormal heart rhythm can be a sign of atrial fibrillation (AFib), which can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and more.
According to the plaintiff, Apple now has a 100% market share for heart rate analysis apps for watchOS. Including all EKG-enabled wearables in the US, Apple’s share is still over 70%.
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AliveCor is pretty tough on Apple, stating, “With a single update, Apple has eliminated the competition that consumers clearly wanted and needed, removing the option of getting a heart rate monitor that is better than what Apple can offer. And all for an incremental increase in value. ” And if that’s not enough, the plaintiff says, “Apple’s anti-competitive behavior was and is rotten to the core.”

AliveCor is demanding damages, triple damages (which is simply three times the damage), legal fees, costs; Interest before and after the judgment at the legally permissible maximum rate; Punitive damages; Injunctive relief, including but not limited to an injunction to exclude Apple’s conduct alleged in the complaint; Declarative relief including, but not limited to, a statement and judgment that Apple’s conduct alleged in the complaint violates the laws alleged in the complaint; and another and further relief which the Tribunal deems right and just.

In contrast to the Epic v. Apple litigation, which is a bank attempt without a jury (the judge makes the final decision), AliveCor is looking for a jury trial.

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