From 2007 to 2009, Apple deleted user content that some iPod owners had obtained through its rival music services.
That’s according to a lawyer for the plaintiffs in a class-action antirust lawsuit against Apple claiming that the first-generation iPod devices were anti-competitive.
Attorney Patrick Coughlin said in U.S. District Court in Oakland, California, where the lawsuit is being tried, that Apple deliberately tried to “blow up” a user’s music library. As reported by The Wall Street Journal:
When a user who had downloaded music from a rival service tried to sync an iPod to the user’s iTunes library, Apple would display an error message and instruct the user to restore the factory settings, Coughlin said. When the user restored the settings, the music from rival services would disappear, he said.
This happened without the user’s knowledge, Coughlin said.
In its defense, Apple said that the deletion of files not downloaded from its iTunes service is aimed at protecting users from hacking attacks. Apple security director Augustin Farrugia testified that Apple didn’t provide more information in the error message because it didn’t want to “confuse” users.
Started just yesterday, the trial for the antitrust lawsuit is expected to also include testimonies from Apple executives Phil Schiller and Eddy Cue, and a deposition of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs videotaped in 2011.
See also: Jimmy Iovine discusses how he convinced Apple to buy Beats, Apple probably won’t release a new iPhone this spring, right?, and The UK wants Apple and other multinationals to pay more in taxes.