In the wake of their controversial app- and ebook-pulling activity, Apple and Amazon, respectively, are facing legal repercussions.
First up today was Amazon (via Ars Technica). In a lawsuit, plaintiffs are hitting them for not living up to their agreement granting customers the ability to “keep a permanent copy of the applicable Digital Content and to view, use, and display such Digital Content an unlimited number of times.” One of the plaintiffs has extra reason to sue: Amazon pulled the rug out from under his homework. He still has the notes he made on his Kindle copy of “1984” but without the underlying text, those notes are metadata without data, annotations on top of empty pages. In other words, pretty useless.
In letters sent late Friday to the two companies and AT&T Inc., the FCC asked why Apple rejected the Google Voice application for the iPhone and removed related applications from its App Store. The letter also seeks information on how AT&T, the exclusive U.S. iPhone carrier, was consulted in the decision, if at all.
It’s part of the larger investigation into the effects of exclusive deals, like AT&T’s deal on the iPhone, on competition and on the smaller carriers. No telling what may come of either of these legal maneuvers, but it certainly sends a message that shenanigans like these will not fade without consequences.