Tentative Settlement: Apple and Shareholders Agree to Resolve “Batterygate” Case
According to a report from Bloomberg Law that was published on June 16th, 2023, Apple has reached a tentative agreement with its shareholders to resolve “batterygate.” The case was centered around a derivative lawsuit that was filed over an alleged Apple update that slowed down iPhones. The settlement still needs to be approved by a federal judge. Here, our Miami shareholder dispute attorney discusses the key issue in this case.
Background: An Overview of Apple’s Batterygate Scandal
In late 2017, Apple became embroiled in a controversy known as “Batterygate.” The tech giant admitted to slowing down older iPhones without users’ consent or knowledge— supposedly to maintain system stability due to battery health degradation. Though, there is controversy over this issue. Critics of Apple—including some of its shareholders—contend that the slowdown was part of a planned obsolescence strategy. Apple faced numerous lawsuits and government inquiries—and ultimately offered a public apology, reduced-price battery replacements, and new iOS features for better battery health transparency. In August of 2019, a shareholder derivative lawsuit was filed.
A Shareholder Derivative Lawsuit Was Filed Against Apple Over “Batterygate”
Following the Batterygate scandal, a derivative lawsuit was filed against Apple by its shareholders, alleging that Apple’s top executives were aware of the iPhone slowdown but failed to disclose it, violating their fiduciary duties. They contended that the controversy damaged Apple’s reputation and caused financial harm. Shareholders sought to recover damages on Apple’s behalf from the implicated executives and directors.
Understanding Shareholder Derivative Claims
A shareholder derivative lawsuit is a legal action brought by shareholders on behalf of a corporation against a third party, often an insider such as an executive or director. These suits usually occur when the corporation has suffered a wrong due to the third party’s actions, and the corporation itself fails to take action. The core rationale behind this kind of lawsuit is to protect the company and its shareholders from harm inflicted by the people who are supposed to be acting in the best interest of the company. There are specific criteria that must be satisfied before a shareholder can file a derivative action against a corporation.
A Preliminary Shareholder Settlement has Been Reached
In the derivative lawsuit over Apple’s Batterygate scandal, a preliminary settlement has been reached. However, it still requires approval from a California federal judge to become final. The settlement terms have not been disclosed. If approved, the settlement could conclude one of the legal battles Apple has been embroiled in since the Batterygate controversy surfaced in 2017.
Consult With a Shareholder Litigation Attorney in Miami Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami-Dade County shareholder litigation lawyers are high-level, results-driven advocates for clients. If you have any questions about a shareholder dispute, our attorneys are here to help. Contact us today to set up your fully confidential initial appointment. With an office in Miami, an office in West Palm Beach, and an office in Wellington, our law firm is well-situated to handle complex shareholder disputes throughout South Florida.