Former Apple Dealers Move Protest to Web

A group of former Apple dealers hopes to bolster its legal action with Internet power. The group on Wednesday posted a Web site soliciting information from customers and insiders on the company's business practices.

A group of angry dealers on Wednesday launched a protest Web site against Apple Computer Inc. The resellers—currently suing Apple in Superior Court—are asking customers to help "uncover any skeletons that Apple is hiding."

TellOnApple.org is the latest step in a series of lawsuits filed against Apple last year by a number of former authorized dealers. The complaints include charges of unfair competition and breach of contract.

According to Tom Santos, president of MACadam Computer Inc. of San Francisco and one of the former dealers in litigation, the site aims to collect information from both customers and employees. "Weve heard things from former Apple employees that would make your head spin."

"Apple is [acting] just like Wal-Mart," Santos said. "All the big guys want to put the small guys out of business."

Santos said that while the discovery phases of the lawsuits are being coordinated as a group, each case is filed separately. Other plaintiffs include Cupertino, Calif.-based Elite Computers & Software Inc. and dealers in Oregon and Los Angeles. The next scheduled court hearing with Apple is a case management conference April 20, two days before the companys shareholder meeting in Cupertino.

Apple was unavailable for comment.

/zimages/1/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms Macintosh Center at http://macintosh.eweek.com for the latest in news, reviews and analysis about Apple in the enterprise. Be sure to add our eWEEK.com Macintosh news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page: /zimages/1/19420.gif http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/my/addtomyyahoo2.gif