OAKLAND — Lawyers for Apple Inc. tried again Wednesday to derail accusations dating back nearly a decade that it illegally monopolized the digital music market by strategically interlocking its iTunes music store with iPod players.

Plaintiffs lawyers with Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd claim the company violated antitrust laws by making its MP3 players compatible only with music downloaded via iTunes and blocking iTunes downloads from playing on other devices. Customers with extensive iTunes libraries were forced to continue buying Apple players or lose their music. That allowed Apple to raise prices, Robbins Geller attorneys argued. Their economics expert has set damages at about $350 million.

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