Judge dismisses Psystar’s antitrust claims against Apple

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Judge dismisses Psystar's antitrust claims against Apple

Miami (FL) – The legal battle between the Mac-clone maker Psystar and Apple took a drastic a drastic turn as a Judge granted Apple’s motion to dismiss Psystar’s antitrust claims. Psystar failed to convince Judge William Alsup that Macs represent an independent market and that Apple is actively depriving “legitimate” rivals like Psystar from competing with the company. We are now expecting Apple’s legal sharks to come out in force and go after Psystar.

Cheap Mac-clone maker Psystar suffered a major blow in its countersuit filed against Apple over an alleged violation of antitrust laws. The company intended to convince the court that Apple has been deliberately tying its proprietary operating system OS X to work only on Apple branded hardware and is illegally blocking other manufacturers like Psystar from selling their own computer systems that run OS X. Psystar also accused Apple of violating the Cartwright Act, the California Business and Professions Code as well as the common law of unfair competition.

ArsTechnica reports that Judge William Alsup granted Apple’s motion to dismiss these counterclaims. In the case Psystar does not file an amended complaint with more substantial evidence of its claims by December 8, the company will be in a difficult position to defend itself.

Psystar claimed that Mac OS-systems constitute an independent market, a distinct submarket or aftermarket dominated by a single vendor, but the court said that the market definition must include “the group or groups of sellers or producers who have actual or potential ability to deprive each other of significant levels of business.” Psystar also tried pushing a “Mac-is-a-separate-market” thesis by pointing fingers at Apple’s marketing, which has been continuously advertising Mac OS as a distinct product. According to Alsup, Psystar’s own counterclaim points to Apple’s advertising, noting that vigorous advertising is in fact “a sign of competition, not a lack thereof.”

“If Mac OS simply had no reasonable substitute, Apple’s vigorous advertising would be wasted money,” Alsup said. The advertising campaigns suggest a need to enhance brand recognition and lure consumers from a competitor.”

Apple sued Psystar back on July 3, sending another signal that it does not tolerate illegal Mac-clone makers.