Originally Posted by rlevtzow
Sounds to me like AT&T and Apple got a sweetheart deal together
But Apple is the one who presented the deal to customers and the customers allege that they paid more for their iPad because of the deal Apple was offering at the keynote. That certainly gives them grounds for a suit. On the surface, it looks like a plausible argument.
Let's say you go into your local independent car dealer and they tell you that a car will get 100 mpg and you buy it. After you get it home, it only gets 40 mpg. You certainly have grounds to sue - and would almost certainly win. You might also sue the manufacturer (and probably would if the manufacturer's literature says 100 mpg), but that doesn't absolve the dealer of the fact that they lied to you (just as in this case, the plaintiffs sued Apple AND AT&T.
Now, if the car dealer relied on promises from the manufacturer, they could sue the manufacturer to recover their money. In this case, if Apple had an agreement from AT&T and AT&T violated that agreement, Apple could sue them to recover their money. That does NOT, however, eliminate the rights of an iPad purchaser to sue Apple. There may be an arrangement behind the scenes for AT&T to reimburse Apple for some or all of their expense, but I doubt if we'll ever know.
As I said, Apple had the opportunity to prove that they were not liable and decided either that they were likely to lose or that it would be less expensive to settle - and therefore agreed to these terms.