Apple to pay $40 to iPad 3G owners shut out of all-you-can-eat data plans

Money, greed, payoff

Apple and AT&T are set to resolve a long-running class action suit over the companies’ decision in June, 2010 to end unlimited data plans for the iPad 3G tablet.

In a ruling issued this week in San Jose, California, US District Judge Ronald Whyte signed off on a plan that will see Apple pay $40 to everyone in the US who bought or ordered an iPad 3G before June 7, 2010. In addition, those who did not sign up with AT&T will get a $20/month discount on the carrier’s 5GB monthly plan for up to a year.

The settlement comes in response to a series of lawsuits that accused the companies of pulling a bait-and-switch by selling iPads with the prospect of unlimited data, and then taking away that option. The suits also said the end of all-you-can-eat data meant consumers overpaid for the iPad. (My colleague, Kevin Tofel, has details here).

Under the deal, which is set to receive final approval in February, Apple will attempt to contact everyone who is eligible, and will send them a $40 check. The AT&T discount will also be available to those who no longer own their original iPad. (Those who signed up with any data plan with AT&T are shut out from the discount, however, owing to a no-class action provision in the carriers’ contracts.)

You can read the details of the settlement, which was spotted by Law360 (sub req’d), in the documents below. I’ve underlined some of the key stuff:

Notice of Motion Re ATT

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Order for Preliminary Approval of ATT, iPad Class Action

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