Hagens Berman Blog

Whistleblower News: Apple, Uber, Purdue, SEC, JPMorgan

by HB Whistleblower Legal Team


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Apple sued by iOS developers over App Store fees

The complaint is over Apple's fees and other alleged anticompetitive actions.

On Tuesday, California-based developer Donald R. Cameron and Pure Sweat Basketball filed a complaint against Apple in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. The suit alleges Apple conducts anticompetitive practices in its App Store, such as a 30% commission rate, minimum pricing mandates and an annual developer fee of $99. The lawsuit is seeking class action status.

"Apple blatantly abuses its market power to the detriment of developers, who are forced to use the only platform available to them to sell their iOS app," Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and an attorney representing the proposed class of developers said in a press release. "In a competitive landscape, this simply would not happen."

Hagens Berman won a lawsuit against Apple in 2016 over e-book price fixing, resulting in a $400 million settlement for customers. read more »

Uber braced for bumper tax bill as IRS and other countries investigate

Taxi app firm’s ‘transfer pricing positions’ under examination

US, UK, Netherlands and India reviewing company’s taxes

Uber is under investigation by US and foreign tax authorities, the company confirmed on Tuesday, saying it could face charges in key markets including the UK.

The news is a new blow to the San Francisco-based ride-share giant. Uber has lost about $12bn or 9% in value since its first day of trading as a public company on 10 May, a major disappointment. read more »

Purdue Pharma: Oxycontin maker faces lawsuits from nearly every US state

California, Maine and Hawaii join at least 45 states accusing company of putting ‘profits over people’ amid opioids crisis.

The states of California, Maine and Hawaii on Monday joined dozens of others in suing the pharmaceutical giant Purdue over the role the company’s prescription painkiller, OxyContin, has played in the deadly opioids crisis.

The states accuse Purdue of putting “profits over people”. They allege Purdue falsely promoted OxyContin by downplaying the risk of addiction while the drug emerged as one of the most widely abused opioids in the US.

In addition to the three states, the District of Columbia also sued Purdue on Monday.

The new plaintiffs are just the latest in a long list of states that have taken legal action against Purdue. The addition of California, the US’s most populous state, is a significant development. read more »

SEC Charges Issuer With Conducting $100 Million Unregistered ICO

The Securities and Exchange Commission today sued Kik Interactive Inc. for conducting an illegal $100 million securities offering of digital tokens.  The SEC charges that Kik sold the tokens to U.S. investors without registering their offer and sale as required by the U.S. securities laws.

As alleged in the SEC’s complaint, Kik had lost money for years on its sole product, an online messaging application, and the company’s management predicted internally that it would run out of money in 2017.  In early 2017, the company sought to pivot to a new type of business, which it financed through the sale of one trillion digital tokens.  Kik sold its “Kin” tokens to the public, and at a discounted price to wealthy purchasers, raising more than $55 million from U.S. investors.  The complaint alleges that Kin tokens traded recently at about half of the value that public investors paid in the offering. read more »

JPMorgan Chase Seeks to Prohibit Card Customers From Suing

JPMorgan Chase is trying to require its credit card customers to go into private arbitration to settle disputes — even if they involve an older account — by reintroducing provisions it dropped a decade ago.

The change, which affects about 47 million accounts, including those for Chase’s popular Sapphire cards, reflects a broader effort by Wall Street firms to prevent customers and employees from engaging in class-action lawsuits that can result in large settlements and bad publicity. Unlike court cases, arbitration cases do not leave a trail of public documents and they cannot be brought by groups of aggrieved customers. read more »