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Apple resellers, consumers sue Mac maker

Suit accuses Apple of not honoring warranties and misappropriating trade secrets from its resellers, among other charges.

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By Jo Best
Special to CNET News.com

A group of Apple Computer resellers and consumers has banded together to file a class action suit against the company.

In the suit, filed in the California Superior Court in San Francisco, the resellers and consumers accuse Apple of not honoring warranties, misappropriating trade secrets from its resellers, unlawful business practices and packaging old kit as new, among other charges.

Apple, which recently filed suit against three online journalists it claimed had leaked Apple's secrets, now finds itself on the receiving end of such a suit, with the resellers claiming the company has been using confidential reseller information in order to boost sales at Apple's own stores and cut the resellers out.

The resellers also claim that Apple ensured its own stores' shelves were stocked more plentifully and ahead of resellers'. Apple also stands accused of deliberately undercutting the resellers' prices and failing to extend warranties while its products were being repaired, according to reports.

At the time of publishing Apple had not responded to requests for comment.

The case isn't the first time aggrieved resellers have got litigious with Apple. Another reseller coalition, headed by MACadam store owner Tom Santos and Elite Computers and Software boss Thomas Armes, is currently at the centre of a legal battle, claiming Apple's actions promoted the company's own stores to the detriment of resellers and, as a result, have driven resellers out of business.

Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.

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