Apple has won an antitrust trial as a U.S. jury decided the company didn’t act improperly when it restricted music purchases for iPod users to Apple’s iTunes digital store, reports Reuters (http://tinyurl.com/pa3mmwk).

The verdict was read in an Oakland, California federal court. The plaintiffs, a group of individuals and businesses who purchased iPods from 2006 to 2009, sought about $350 million in damages from Apple alleging the company unfairly blocked competing device makers.

This all goes back to a lawsuit filed in 2005 when Thomas Slattery sued Apple, alleging the company broke antitrust laws by using FairPlay, digital rights management technology, with iTunes so that purchased music will work only with its own music player, the iPod, freezing out competitors. Though most of the complaints were dropped, the case was combined with two other lawsuits.

The jury returned a verdict that basically states those iTunes updates offered meaningful improvements to Appleā€™s media player software, and weren’t offered only to help Apple maintain a perceived monopoly by blocking others, including RealNetworks, from also selling digital media for use with iPods.