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Judge won't dismiss Apple/AT&T suit

Northern California District Judge James Ware rejected arguments for dismissal in a class-action case surrounding Apple and AT&T's exclusivity deal for the iPhone.

The lawsuit alleges Apple unfairly maintains exclusivity with AT&T, preventing owners from unlocking and jailbreaking their handsets. It also argues that both companies disguised some post-sale costs of ownership.

Ware dismissed Apple's and AT&T's requests for dismissal -- a normal, routine part of the lawsuit process -- ruling they either weren't lawfully arguable or they didn't address the nature of the lawsuit.

Apple said that since customers were still under the terms of their two-year contract, they couldn't legally argue the status of that contract: Ware said that wasn't true. The company also said that they have since added support for third-party applications, but Ware said that wasn't the whole story, since Apple knowingly limits access to certain areas where it has a "financial interest."

All parties in the case will next meet November 17, where the court will try to find out more information about the nature of the deal between Apple and AT&T, including the exact duration of their exclusivity agreement.

[Via Macsimum News and AppleInsider.]

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