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Judge orders attorneys to find new plaintiffs in Apple antitrust lawsuit

Judge orders attorneys to find new plaintiffs in Apple antitrust lawsuit
An antitrust lawsuit against Apple will continue, despite all plaintiffs in the case being disqualified. Above, customers try out the Apple iPod Nano at a store in Palo Alto in 2007. (Paul Sakuma / Associated Press)

In an unusual turn of events, a U.S. District judge in Oakland has decided that a class-action antitrust lawsuit over Apple's iPod should go on, even though the last remaining plaintiff was disqualified.

The case involves iPods that Apple sold from 2006 to 2009. An included update prevented music downloaded from third-party software from being played.

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The case went to trial last week with two plaintiffs, but both were disqualified after Apple found that neither had bought iPods during the period cited in the suit.

After scolding the last plaintiff for not providing more complete information about the iPods she bought, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ordered the plaintiffs' attorneys to find new plaintiffs by Tuesday.

Both sides estimate that about 8 million people bought iPods affected by the case. The plaintiffs' attorneys  alleged that Apple's monopoly on music playing devices allowed it to overcharge customers and resellers and that damages amounted to almost $325 million.

Twitter: @traceylien

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