Apple’s Priciest Upload Yet 

Posted by Maya Winczura.

Apple has found themselves at the center of countless lawsuits over the years but their latest is known as Gamboa v. Apple Inc. This is an antitrust class action lawsuit filed against Apple accusing them of running a monopoly for their iCloud service. iCloud, a paid service that allows Apple users to store their data and access it from anywhere, has surprisingly become the company’s most profitable product, offering several plans for users to choose from depending on how much storage is needed. 

Despite having various competitors, like Google and DropBox, iCloud is facing these accusations because plaintiff Julianna Felix Gamboa and her lawsuit claims that, “juggling multiple cloud accounts with different interfaces to store non-restricted data, such as photos, is an ‘unattractive option’ for users.” Apple knows this so they have raised their prices for the cloud so much that they are bringing in “pure profit,” with a 70% share. The logic behind the accused monopoly is that if the company is able to very successfully sustain these prices, they must have a significant lead over their competitors. 

The main point being raised in this case is that much of the data found on Apple’s other products like iPhones, iPads, and Macs, can only be transferred using Apple’s own cloud sharing service which, as the article states,  “unlawfully ties,” iCloud and their other products together. Some of those files include data that is necessary for users to have access to when changing their device. Essentially, if someone wants to store all of their important and personal files taken on an Apple product, they can only use Apple’s service to guarantee that all of it will transfer. This would arguably not be as big of a deal if people did not have to pay extra to utilize it, on top of the already expensive devices they purchased, in comparison to competitor prices. This is not Apple’s first lawsuit regarding iCloud but the results of this case would potentially affect tens of millions of Apple customers. 

Maya is a dual marketing and sports management major at the Stillman School of Business. Seton Hall University, Class of 2026. to an external site.

Jazwares Accuses Build-A-Bear of Stealing the Squishmallow Design

Posted by Gabriella Pecoraro.

The up-and-coming company Jazwares, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway since October of 2022, accused Build-A-Bear of stealing the design of their trending Squishmallow product. Build-A-Bear was sued by Jazwares on February 12th of this year and Build-A-Bear responded with a lawsuit in the same day. In the official complaint that was filed, the company Jazwares specifically accused Build-A-Bear of violating the rights of intellectual property.

Build-A-Bear has been looking to expand their brand from exclusively teddy bears and has been partaking in character sponsorships as well as introducing new product lines. Their most recent expansion of the brand was their product line, Skoosherz. Jazwares says that the company “blatantly and intentionally” stole the design from Squishmallows because of the immense amount of popularity and revenue Jazwares has been earning from that product. Jazwares goes as far as to claim that Build-A-Bear copied the design so consumers would not be able to differentiate between the two products.

From the lawsuit, Jazwares is looking for Build-A-Bear to discontinue their new product line as well as pay back three times the damage caused by the launch of Skoosherz. At the lawsuit taken place at the St. Louis federal court Build-A-Bear claims that their product Skoosherz are simply the trending type of soft pillow toy and not a direct duplicate of the Squishmallow design. In addition, Build-A-Bear argues in court that Squishmallows “lack a consistent look and feel” and that their brand is exclusively looking to follow the most recent stuffed animal trends. Build-A-Bear is seeking a court declaration that their brand did not infringe upon Jazwares’ “trade dress” rights at the end of the lawsuit. The lawsuit is ongoing and the lawyers defending Build-A-Bear have yet to provide any additional information and comments about the state of the current situation.

Gabriella is a marketing major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2026. to an external site.

The Reality of Amazon: Hard Work, Paid Less  

Posted by Gia Leonardis.

The Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts prohibits an employer from treating you differently, or less favorably, because of your sex, which is defined to include pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity. This law was put in place to protect employees in the workplace. However, 3 women, who work for Amazon, filed a suit in Nov. 2023 accusing their employer of doing what the Act was supposed to protect them from.

According to the lawsuit, Amazon provided lower wages for women who held similar positions within the company to those of men who were paid more. Caroline Wilmuth, Katherine Schomer and Erin Combs raised their concerns to their managers and Amazon’s Human Resources Department. Wilmuth explained, “When I discovered that I was being paid significantly less than men on my team, it stunned and devastated me,…”. This shows the aggravation that the women faced due to the fact that they are being paid less because of their gender. After Wilmuth addressed her concerns, Amazon demoted her to a position that had “much less career advancement opportunity”. She was taken away from the team that she “founded and built from scratch”. 

In March, an investigator looked in Wilmuth’s issues and as a result of this, Amazon disputed the lawsuit. Brad Glasser, an Amazon spokesperson, stated, “We believe these claims are false and will demonstrate that through the legal process”. Glasser also explained that Amazon  “doesn’t tolerate discrimination in the workplace, and it investigates all reported incidents of such behavior.” However, Amazon has faced many  allegations of gender and racial discrimination from their corporate and tech workers. In 2021, the company opened a review into its employee review system. It followed allegations of racial bias and an investigation into discrimination and bias. In conclusion , Amazon declared they were conducting a racial equity audit of their front-line employee workforce. This will be led by Attorney General Loretta Lynch. 

Personally, after reading this information, I think it is unfair that women are paid less than the men. They both take on the same task and therefore should both be equally acknowledged. They both put in the hard work and should be paid the same as it is the same job. 

Gia is a marketing major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2027. to an external site. 

The Issue with Clean Beauty in the Cosmetic Industry

Posted by Chelsea Hynes.

Health and wellness is a very popular practice in our society. It touches upon almost every consumer market out there and continues to grow each year. One area in particular that has seen some conflicts with its efforts to capitalize on the health and wellness kick is the beauty industry. One of the most popular buzzwords used to market these “natural” ingredient based products is “clean beauty.” At stores like Target and Sephora, many products that are advertised as “clean” have minimal ingredient lists and are said to contain no harmful chemicals. While this label seems like it should be helpful for consumers to easily identify the healthy products they want to buy, the problem is that “the Food and Drug Administration, the government agency in charge of regulating the beauty industry, doesn’t have an established definition of “clean” for cosmetic claims” (Akpan and Bustos). The requirements for using the “clean beauty” label are not very strict, allowing for many companies to falsely advertise their products. 

The Federal Trade Commissions Act handles false or deceptive advertising throughout different industries. It also ensures “that health-related benefits of products are accurate, so consumers make informed decisions” (Akpan and Bustos). The Act says that to make health-related claims, sufficient research needs to be conducted in order for it to be true and valid. These regulations are mainly used in the pharmaceutical industry and the law has not caught up yet to the cosmetic industry. One case in particular that tackled this issue is Finster v. Sephora USA, Inc. The dilemma is whether Sephora should more openly disclose what their requirements for the “clean” label are, or, should it be the consumer’s responsibility to do more research before buying a product.

Overall, the “clean beauty” market is still rapidly expanding each year. It is “expected to reach an estimated $11.6 billion by 2027” (Akpan and Bustos). The desire for “healthy” products is likely not going anywhere, it is the regulations that need to catch up with its growing popularity. It is only a matter of time before more attention is brought to this issue and for consumers to be more critical of the labels brands put on their products.

Chelsea is a marketing major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2024.

Link: to an external site.

Apple Overhauls App Store in Europe, in Response to New Digital Law

Posted by Andrew Go.

In the past, Apple has raised concern that it is limiting competition on its own app store. Apple has tough policies for app developers, such as requiring up to a 30% commission on sales made on apps. It also takes control of pricing of apps and requires developers to agree to not to distribute their apps onto other platforms. This previous controversy has led the Supreme Court to move forward with an antitrust class action against Apple in May 2019.

The saga of antitrust action against Apple continues with the latest of the EU regulations requiring the company to make further changes to its App Store. The regulation, called the “Digital Markets Act” (DMA), which takes effect on March 7th, 2024, would require Apple to allow “alternative app stores to download games, productivity tools and other apps.” Its purpose is to decrease the monopoly of the largest tech companies and encourage competition and creativity. Apple is heavily opposed to these new regulations, citing its “gatekeeper role protects customers from malware, privacy breaches and flawed apps” and that the new legislation “would give hackers and criminals a new path to distribute malware and defraud customers”. It even has tried to circumvent the new legislation by proposing policies like charging developers of free apps who have apps that have been downloaded at least 1 million times in a 1 year period a 50 cent fee for every download. It has also created a process called notarization, which seeks to counteract the freedom that alternative app stores offer from Apple’s strict terms. It will give every app an installation key to inform Apple of its installation date and allows it to scan for malware. It also provides info like descriptions and images of the app, along with the name of the developers.

App developers like Spotify and Epic Games are supportive of the new legislation, with Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games, saying that “Apple was maintaining the power to block a company like Epic from introducing a games store”. Spotify has also said that “Developers everywhere are continuing to ask other governments to pass their own laws like the D.M.A”. 

Andrew is a business major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2027.

Apple Overhauls App Store in Europe, in Response to New Digital Law – The New York Times ( to an external site.

Facebook and Its Reporting System

Posted by Arnav Gade.

If you have ever used social media like Instagram or Facebook, you may be familiar with the reporting system. Many pictures or videos are inexcusably too horrible for people to view, so they have moderators who check the reports and make sure the content is actually that bad. Sometimes if the content is a little sensitive or not breaking any guidelines, they can blur the image and prompt the user if they want to continue to view more. Although this system does seem to be a pretty good idea there are multiple flaws present. The current social media dynamic is the idea of personalized content, there are for your pages, timelines that use algorithms to put content you want to see, and they suggest people you want to follow. This idea of personalized content means that people often view these apps as personal only to them, and they almost get sucked into their own world. So, when they report an image or video, they feel like the process is automized and they don’t think about the human aspect, the corporations feel the same way, they view these moderators as a necessary evil. Someone who is like a janitor who has to sift through all the trash and keep the app clean.

The people in the article sued Facebook for their working conditions, and shows the first lawsuit against Facebook that comes from outside the U.S. They are seeking a 1.6-billion-dollar fund to compensate for poor working conditions, insufficient mental health benefits, and low pay. This case could shake up the entire company and the way we view content. The workers in Kenya say that they took the job to escape the war there, yet they have to spend all day viewing war footage and clips which keeps them mentally there. Facebook has also taken away their contracts while the court order pends, and the workers are alleging that Facebook is ignoring the orders to reinstate it.

The workers understand that it is very common for people in the U.S. to settle, but they want the people across the world to see what they are going through. They had originally signed up for consulting work, but the boss there exploited them in a low-income area and dumped them after they started to complain. The long-lasting psychological toll that these workers are facing is being ignored not only in Kenya but across the globe. Facebook had originally created these moderation hubs because of the hate speech circulating in Myanmar. The system in place is faulty, and they skirt around this by employing cheap labor overseas and people they can view as expendable, Facebook does not really care what happens to the workers who are mentally scarred, they can just find more desperate people and use them or throw money in their faces to get them to stop talking.

Arnav is a FinTech major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2025.

The Latest Law Talk

Posted by Kathleen Bonilla.

A tragic incident has led to a lawsuit against one of Disney’s restaurants, Raglan Road. The lawsuit alleges negligence from Disney as well as the restaurant employees. The negligence in question was regarding a customer who had food allergies and asked the staff for the appropriate accommodations. It became evident that they failed to take such precautions leading to the outcome of death for that customer. Dr. Kanokporn Tangsuan was the victim of the restaurant’s carelessness. This incident demonstrates the serious consequences of negligence in catering to customers with allergies and the legal backlash that can result from it.

The lawsuit, carried out by her husband Jeffery Piccolo, accuses Disney and the restaurant of negligence in their duty and failure to provide a safe environment for their customers with allergies. “The suit alleges that Disney and Raglan Road breached their duty of care to Tangsuan to “ensure that food that was designated as allergen free and/or food that was requested to be prepared allergen free, was in fact free from allergies that would cause death or serious physical harm to guests with food allergies”” (Murphy).  Their failure in attending to Tangsuan’s food allergies is what caused her abrupt death at the young age of 42. The lawsuit also claims that the restaurant failed to “educate, train, and/or instruct” the staff on the steps to ensuring allergy free food (Murphy).

This case highlights the importance of businesses adhering to proper protocols, especially when dealing with customers that require special accommodations. The outcome of this lawsuit could have implications for how other companies approach allergy management and customer safety protocols going forward. This incident also serves as serves as a reminder of the potential consequences of negligence and the importance of prioritizing the safety and well-being of all customers.

Kathleen is a FinTech major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2025. to an external site.

Navigating Employee Expression: A Review of NLRB Rulings on BLM Attire

Posted by Kyara Syed.

On February 21, 2024, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Home Depot violated the National Labor Relations Act. Home Depot prohibited an employee from wearing an apron displaying “BLM” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) deemed the employee’s action protected under the National Labor Relations Act because the action was part of a group effort to address racial discrimination in the workplace. NLRB Chairman Lauren McFerran supported this, “It is well-established that workers have the right to join together to improve their working conditions—including by protesting racial discrimination in the workplace,” (National Labor Relations Board). As a result, Home Depot is ordered to rehire the employee, provide back pay, compensate the employee for any adverse tax consequences, and ultimately stop prohibiting workers from engaging in protected-concerted activities.

The ruling is interesting, especially since it yielded opposite results with previous cases involving BLM attire. In 2020, Whole Foods disciplined its employees for wearing marks, pins, and other accessories with the “Black Lives Matter” slogan. The NLRB conducted its investigation and concluded that Whole Foods was not wrongful and did not violate the labor rights of its employees. An administrative law judge with the NLRB, Ariel Sotolongo claimed that wearing the apparel did not have to do “with their employment or working conditions.” (National Labor Relations Board). The NLRB found that Whole Foods was trying to avoid any controversy and conflict at its stores, that the attire related to BLM may have brought. On the other hand, though, in 2023, Fred Meyer Stores were deemed to have illegally disciplined its employees for wearing buttons, face masks, and other accessories expressing support for the Black Lives Matter Movement, violating their rights to voice opinions about working conditions.

As we see, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to navigating employee expression in the workplace. The NLRB is employee-friendly, indicating a pro-employee approach and commitment to protecting and expanding employee’s rights in the workplace. The NLRB advocates and promotes practical solutions rather than rigid ones. To try to prevent legal issues, companies should ensure both management and employees understand the policies and enforce the dress code consistently because discrepancies can lead to discrimination or retaliation lawsuits. Ultimately, companies need to be aware of potential NLRB-related issues and consider them when resolving workplace disputes, especially in states lacking widespread union presence like Florida.

Kyara is a finance and IT management double major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2025.

Should a Merger Occur?

Posted by Emma Kelly.

As a sophomore Finance major, how businesses interact has always interested me, especially mergers and why they occur. This article, in essence, is all about the merger that is supposed to happen between Kroger and Albertsons, two grocery stores. Many people, including the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, oppose this merger because it would cause prices to increase, but wages to decrease. However, Kroger disagrees, “Kroger said in a statement that blocking the deal ‘will actually harm the very people the FTC purports to serve: America’s consumers and workers’.” Based on Kroger’s and Albertsons’ decision to try and continue the merger, the FTC is suing to block the merger. Behind this lawsuit are attorneys from Arizona, California, Washington D.C., Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wyoming. If the merger were to happen, it would create one of the largest grocers in the country.

The reasoning behind the FTC’s lawsuit to block the merger is that “Kroger’s acquisition of Albertsons would lead to additional grocery price hikes for everyday goods, further exacerbating the financial strain consumers across the country face today.” As American citizens, we know that monopolies and oligopolies are not always the way to run things. If this merger occurred, there would be fewer grocery stores, allowing stores like Walmart, Amazon, and Costco to grow even more. If they grow and continue an oligopoly, there will be continued price rises and less worker satisfaction because the companies have so much pricing power. Now, more than ever, the ability to buy groceries has become increasingly difficult for Americans with rising prices and inflation, but steady wages. I believe that the FTC’s decision to block this merger is the right thing to do.

Overall, this article is about why the FTC is suing to block the merger between Kroger and Albertsons and why Kroger and Albertsons believe this merger should happen. If the FTC cannot block this merger, Kroger and Albertsons must be cautious not to cause prices to increase and wages to decrease. If this occurs, it may benefit the company more, but not the people. The people who shop in Kroger and Albertsons keep it up and running, but increasing prices too much would deter customers from going there. In order for this merger to be successful, they must keep an ample number of stores open and maintain steady wages and prices.

Emma is a finance major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University.

Briefing a Case is Simpler than You Think

Posted by Krista Hoo.

Briefing a case is an important skill to master when navigating the field of business law. Briefing a case can typically be broken down into four main steps: obtaining facts, reviewing history and procedure, reviewing issues, and exercising holding and legal reasoning. This is an enduring process that takes time and energy to master, however, there are ways to improve efficiency in completing legal briefs. Bloomberg Law recently released the review, “Write a Better Legal Brief in Less Time.” This review provides evolved methods that increase both efficiency and effectiveness of completing legal cases.

Researching legal briefs can be broken down into three main components: understanding the current issues, identifying relevant cases, and reviewing sample briefs. The first step is to understand the current issue by familiarizing yourself with secondary sources. Specifically, it is important to pay attention to the area of law the legal case is involved in and the key issues. The next step is to identify relevant cases by finding similarities in the expression of the point of law and finding cases that potentially direct you to similar points in law. By conducting this step, you can ensure you’re on the right track of immersing yourself in the right subject. Finally, the last step of this topic is to review sample briefs. To complete this step you must, “Search the firm’s internal document system for recent examples, or research dockets for examples of your firm’s filings in similar cases” (Bloomberg, 2). Reviewing sample briefs allows you to better acquaint yourself with historic procedures and guide the construction of your own case briefing.

After completing the research process, the next important step is to begin writing the legal brief. It may seem like an overwhelming task, however Bloomberg Law has broken it down into attainable and realistic steps for optimal completion. First, it is important to structure your legal briefing by following the order of, “Introduction to your position, summary of the facts in the case, and arguments in support of your position with cited case law” (Bloomberg, 3). This structure allows the information to be easily accessible and presents your points to the reader in the best way possible. It is also important to consider style in your legal briefing for maximum persuasive qualities. Things to consider include keeping it minimal and to the point while also maintaining a tough quality to your work. Finally, it is important to consider the substance that is within your brief to persuade and support your central claim. You can obtain this by avoiding string citations because they cause readers to stray away from deeply engaging in your work. You should also consider not being afraid of using out-of-jurisdiction cases because you should utilize the most supportive evidence and opinion. The last step is to explicitly explain why the bad authority does not apply to the circumstances of your specific case.

These steps on conducting research towards your case briefing and writing your case briefing will help ease your transition into writing effective legal briefs. More specifically, this breakdown explicitly shows you how to write a brief with maximum persuasion and accurate qualities. By following these steps, you can create an ideal legal brief.

Krista is a student at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2027.