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Apple moves to suspend 'inquisitorial' antitrust monitoring, DoJ comes to monitor's defense

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
In a series of court filings late last week, Apple officially moved to halt the 'unconstitutional' compliance monitoring imposed as part of the government's e-book antitrust lawsuit, while the Department of Justice defended the monitor's actions and urged that the oversight be upheld.

Bromwich
Antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich | Source: ZUMA Press via mnn.com


Michael Bromwich, the third-party monitor assigned to the case by presiding Judge Denise Cote, "is conducting a roving investigation that is interfering with Apple's business operations, risking the public disclosure of privileged and confidential information, and imposing substantial and rapidly escalating costs on Apple that it will never be able to recover," Apple's lead appeals counsel Theodore Boutrous argued in the company's motion. The documents were first noticed by Fortune's Roger Parloff.

Apple wants to immediately suspend the portion of the September judgement that authorizes Bromwich's hiring pending the outcome of the company's appeal of the case's guilty verdict. The judgement's other orders, such as the staggered renegotiation of Apple's contracts with publishers, are not included and many have already been implemented by Apple.
The injunction...is flatly unconstitutional, and will be reversed on appeal -- Apple
The motion largely mirrors a complaint filed by Apple just after Thanksgiving in which the Cupertino, Calif.-based company called into question Bromwich's fee structure as well as the manner in which he had begun to conduct the monitoring. The earlier complaint was also the first time Apple brought up the question of constitutionality on which the new motion hinges.

Apple "has a substantial possibility of success" in overturning the monitoring provisions on appeal, Boutrous argues, in part because the court overstepped their constitutional authority with the imposition of the compliance monitor by granting him investigative powers that are not given to the court under Article III of the Constitution and thus cannot be transferred to the monitor.

Boutrous also cites the "irreparable harm" being done to Apple due to the distraction caused by Bromwich's requests for wide-ranging interviews with senior Apple executives.


At a bare minimum, Apple officers, directors, and management are being harmed by the time-consuming distraction of Mr. Bromwich's roving investigation. These individuals are subjected to Mr. Bromwich's indiscriminate demands for interviews and information--even where, like director Al Gore, they are not directly involved in the company's antitrust compliance efforts. At worst, Mr. Bromwich's inquisitorial zeal for communication with Apple's employees "unfiltered through outside counsel" fosters an atmosphere of suspicion that is antithetical to the efficient operation of a major corporation. In either case, Mr. Bromwich's investigation significantly interferes with the ability of Apple's managers to lead the company.



For its part, the Department of Justice disagrees with Boutrous's assessment of the situation and, in a response to Apple's motion, comes to Bromwich's defense.

Federal antitrust lawyer Lawrence Buterman accuses Apple of engaging "in a systematic and untoward campaign to publicly malign the External Compliance Monitor and prevent him from carrying out his responsibilities." Bromwich's conduct, Buterman writes, has been "at all times appropriate and consistent with his impeccable reputation."

Buterman also dismissed Apple's constitutional claims outright, calling them a "misreading" of the original injunction that are "wholly without merit." Because "Apple has not presented any legitimate arguments as to why its motion will be successful on the merits," he argues, "Plaintiffs submit Apple's application for a stay can be denied summarily."

Judge Cote will hear oral arguments on the motion on Jan. 13.
post #2 of 44
I note that the fox is guarding the henhouse. That is, the same judge that created the situation is judging whether or not it is legal.

IMHO, if the government is damaging Apple, then Apple should sue the government. Of course, it'll take centuries for the suit to finally be concluded....
post #3 of 44
Apple aside, The DOJ (like the IRS) needs to be overhauled and all of those politically motivated, self-serving hypocrites need to be fired (WITHOUT THEIR OBSCENE PENSIONS). This is just another example of them "taking care of their own". These government bureaucracies need non-governmental oversight by the citizens of this country before they destroy our freedoms. This has little to do with Apple, it's a much bigger issue.
post #4 of 44
If a compliance monitor is necessary, why did the court appoint one who then had to hire someone else to make up for his lack of antitrust expertise?
post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

If a compliance monitor is necessary, why did the court appoint one who then had to hire someone else to make up for his lack of antitrust expertise?

There is NO HONOR in our judicial system. That's why.
post #6 of 44
Why is the monitor being allowed to start charging for work nearly two months BEFORE he was scheduled to start work?

Also, IF the government and judge were correct in their initial actions against Apple, why did the judge retreat from allowing secret, unmonitored discussions between herself and the monitor?
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

I note that the fox is guarding the henhouse. That is, the same judge that created the situation is judging whether or not it is legal.

IMHO, if the government is damaging Apple, then Apple should sue the government. Of course, it'll take centuries for the suit to finally be concluded....


+1

post #8 of 44
Another DOJ extortion scam, if Apple donates to the Democrats the case will go away
post #9 of 44
DOJ has crossed the line.
post #10 of 44

This is what happens when you don't have enough lobbyists in DC.  Sorry Apple.

post #11 of 44
You know how Cote will rule. She's on Team Bromwich.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

You know how Cote will rule. She's on Team Bromwich.

She might as well pre-announce her upcoming verdict just to be consistent.
post #13 of 44
Throw him out on his ass, close up shop, and move to Canada.
post #14 of 44

And here's a link to the actual legal documents: http://www.scribd.com/doc/191635288/USA-v-Apple-AAPL-motion-to-stay-monitorship

 

(only crashed twice trying to post this information...yay)

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post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by adhir View Post

Throw him out on his ass, close up shop, and move to Canada.

They should offshore only the iBooks business. Relocate it to Syria.

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post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyapple View Post

Another DOJ extortion scam, if Apple donates to the Democrats the case will go away

Not wanting to get political for one second but it's a fact Apple as a company, and it's CEOs in particular, have always been firmly in the democratic / liberal mind set if not camp, you know, believing in science, supporting the arts, caring about the planet ... and all that good stuff. This seems to be a really weird situation and I suspect individuals not governments are behind the seemingly anti Apple attitude here.
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post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Not wanting to get political for one second but it's a fact Apple as a company, and it's CEOs in particular, have always been firmly in the democratic / liberal mind set if not camp, you know, believing in science, supporting the arts, caring about the planet ... and all that good stuff. This seems to be a really weird situation and I suspect individuals not governments are behind the seemingly anti Apple attitude here.

It seems they support causes that work at cross-purposes with the goal of running not only a successful business, but a quality business.

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post #18 of 44

Yes, it's completely inappropriate for DOJ to go after Apple.  Going after big companies like Microsoft is fine, but not Apple!

</sarcasm>

 

While Apple is a great innovator, I do think the evidence points to Apple colluding with the book publishers to raise ebook prices.  So, unless you disagree with anti-trust laws in general I think you should agree that Apple deserved at least a slap on the wrist.  In principle I think the prices of ebooks should be much less expensive than what they actually are today.  At the post-Apple collusion rates the ebooks were within spitting distance to buying the same book in dead-tree format at Amazon or Wal-Mart.  I think prices should be able to be much lower because distribution of bytes is almost free compared to paper.

 

You may think that it's a publisher's right to charge whatever they want for their products, and it is.  It's just not their right for them to collude together and agree on a artificially set price, which is what obviously happened.  If the publishers felt they were right and price collusion never happened, I doubt they would have settled with the DOJ right from the start.  Their lawyers probably looked at the evidence and told the respective CEOs "dude, you broke the law - if this goes to trial you're going to get spanked".

post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancesWithLysol View Post

Yes, it's completely inappropriate for DOJ to go after Apple.  Going after big companies like Microsoft is fine, but not Apple!

< /stupidity >

Fixed that for you.

You were trying to make a stupid statement, right?
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post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

It seems they support causes that work at cross-purposes with the goal of running not only a successful business, but a quality business.

I have to admit to not understanding your post.
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post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
 

They should offshore only the iBooks business. Relocate it to Syria.

 

I was thinking Antarctica.

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post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


I have to admit to not understanding your post.

 

Sorry, this should've been in a different thread.

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post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Not wanting to get political for one second but it's a fact Apple as a company, and it's CEOs in particular, have always been firmly in the democratic / liberal mind set if not camp, you know, believing in science, supporting the arts, caring about the planet ... and all that good stuff. This seems to be a really weird situation and I suspect individuals not governments are behind the seemingly anti Apple attitude here.

Not to get political, there are many conservatives who believe in science, the arts, the planet. They happen to not fit the MSM definition. In addition why should the govt pay for the creation of art?
Besides money talks and Washington wants its share.
post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancesWithLysol View Post
 

Their lawyers probably looked at the evidence and told the respective CEOs "dude, you broke the law - if this goes to trial you're going to get spanked".

 

So why was this a civil rather than a criminal case?

 

Apple is innocent of any wrongdoing as will be shown on appeal where the judges will be more impartial.


Edited by hill60 - 12/16/13 at 1:43pm
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post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Not wanting to get political for one second but it's a fact Apple as a company, and it's CEOs in particular, have always been firmly in the democratic / liberal mind set if not camp, you know, believing in science, supporting the arts, caring about the planet ... and all that good stuff. This seems to be a really weird situation and I suspect individuals not governments are behind the seemingly anti Apple attitude here.

You really think they care about all that?!  Naive.  They care about any cause they can stand up for that allows them to create more government jobs & further lock in their elite rule over this country.  

 

Also, they don't give handouts because they care, they give them because it buys votes.  People rarely vote away their government handouts.  Even when they disagree with someone politically the will to survive is stronger than conscience & so they vote to keep the government assistance they've come to depend on.

post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hezetation View Post
 

You really think they care about all that?!  Naive.  They care about any cause they can stand up for that allows them to create more government jobs & further lock in their elite rule over this country.  

 

Also, they don't give handouts because they care, they give them because it buys votes.  People rarely vote away their government handouts.  Even when they disagree with someone politically the will to survive is stronger than conscience & so they vote to keep the government assistance they've come to depend on.

 

I live in a country, Australia, where I don’t mind if the tax I pay looks after me when I get sick, rather than bailing out bankers who are leeches on society.

 

American’s should hang their heads in shame that they allow people who can’t afford healthcare to die on the streets like it’s some third world country.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #27 of 44

Boy this discussion went south fast, how did this turned into a US Heath Care issue (by the way, no where does it say in the US Constitution that it is the responsibility of the government to take care of you). To the person who talked about taxes, I too pay them and lots of them and I do not mind in the least bit as long as it goes to things which benefit everyone such as roads, infrastructure and the such, but not to paying someone's else bills, which do not benefit me or you.

 

However, back to the subject, and again some people are missing the point. Apple is not above any company and I do think they ever said that, like some other companies implied. The issue is the fact this guy has taken upon himself to investigate everything and ever agreement they have every done looking for some sort of wrong doing. In the US no investigator can go on a fishing trip, they have to know of the wrong doing and specifically say what they are looking for, this guy appears to be asking question and not allowing the people to have legal council involved so they are giving up their right not to incriminate. Apple's point is correct, the judicial branch of the government does not have the authority to investigate neither doe the DOJ, only the police have the authority in this country to open an investigation. This is done to avoid a conflict of interest. Honest I think school need to do a better job of civic so people understand how things work in the country. 

 

I like the DOJ reason for tossing The claim, "Apple has not provide any argument on how they would be successful," really because he thinks they have not presented a winnable argument that is the reason to drop their claim. I wonder if the DOJ ever thought Apple's lawyers maybe smarter than him and know the law better than him and it is not like the DOJ have not lost meritless cases themselves. Plus a good defense lawyer would not tell the DOJ how they plan to win a case.

post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancesWithLysol View Post
 

Yes, it's completely inappropriate for DOJ to go after Apple.  Going after big companies like Microsoft is fine, but not Apple!

</sarcasm>

 

While Apple is a great innovator, I do think the evidence points to Apple colluding with the book publishers to raise ebook prices.  So, unless you disagree with anti-trust laws in general I think you should agree that Apple deserved at least a slap on the wrist.  In principle I think the prices of ebooks should be much less expensive than what they actually are today.  At the post-Apple collusion rates the ebooks were within spitting distance to buying the same book in dead-tree format at Amazon or Wal-Mart.  I think prices should be able to be much lower because distribution of bytes is almost free compared to paper.

 

You may think that it's a publisher's right to charge whatever they want for their products, and it is.  It's just not their right for them to collude together and agree on a artificially set price, which is what obviously happened.  If the publishers felt they were right and price collusion never happened, I doubt they would have settled with the DOJ right from the start.  Their lawyers probably looked at the evidence and told the respective CEOs "dude, you broke the law - if this goes to trial you're going to get spanked".


Can you explain this to me?  Book prices varied from one to the other.  How do Apple and publishers collude together and agree on a artificially set price?  Do you or DOJ mean every book on iBook store is sold at one price? 

post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

why should the govt pay for the creation of art?

 

they pay too much for killing of innocents....

 

I'd much rather see it spent on the arts. it's my tax money...

post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancesWithLysol View Post
 

Yes, it's completely inappropriate for DOJ to go after Apple.  Going after big companies like Microsoft is fine, but not Apple!

</sarcasm>

 

 

 

As a person from a Native background I find your username highly offensive. You're a fucking racist POS.

 

Probably going to get a ban for it, but at this point I don't care.

post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hezetation View Post

You really think they care about all that?!  Naive.  They care about any cause they can stand up for that allows them to create more government jobs & further lock in their elite rule over this country.  

Also, they don't give handouts because they care, they give them because it buys votes.  People rarely vote away their government handouts.  Even when they disagree with someone politically the will to survive is stronger than conscience & so they vote to keep the government assistance they've come to depend on.

I was talking about Apple, what on earth are you talking about?
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post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

I live in a country, Australia, where I don’t mind if the tax I pay looks after me when I get sick, rather than bailing out bankers who are leeches on society.

 



American’s should hang their heads in shame that they allow people who can’t afford healthcare to die on the streets like it’s some third world country.

We no longer do after 2014. America joined the first world. 1smile.gif
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post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by DancesWithLysol View Post
 

Yes, it's completely inappropriate for DOJ to go after Apple.  Going after big companies like Microsoft is fine, but not Apple!

</sarcasm>

 

While Apple is a great innovator, I do think the evidence points to Apple colluding with the book publishers to raise ebook prices.  So, unless you disagree with anti-trust laws in general I think you should agree that Apple deserved at least a slap on the wrist.  In principle I think the prices of ebooks should be much less expensive than what they actually are today.  At the post-Apple collusion rates the ebooks were within spitting distance to buying the same book in dead-tree format at Amazon or Wal-Mart.  I think prices should be able to be much lower because distribution of bytes is almost free compared to paper.

 

You may think that it's a publisher's right to charge whatever they want for their products, and it is.  It's just not their right for them to collude together and agree on a artificially set price, which is what obviously happened.  If the publishers felt they were right and price collusion never happened, I doubt they would have settled with the DOJ right from the start.  Their lawyers probably looked at the evidence and told the respective CEOs "dude, you broke the law - if this goes to trial you're going to get spanked".

 

If you have a shop can you not charge what you want to charge your customer.

 

Is a loss leader price the true price of a good?

post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Fixed that for you.

You were trying to make a stupid statement, right?

I think he had a valid point J-odf
post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

I live in a country, Australia, where I don’t mind if the tax I pay looks after me when I get sick, rather than bailing out bankers who are leeches on society.

 



American’s should hang their heads in shame that they allow people who can’t afford healthcare to die on the streets like it’s some third world country.

We are 3rd world these days! Embarrassing
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Boy this discussion went south fast, how did this turned into a US Heath Care issue (by the way, no where does it say in the US Constitution that it is the responsibility of the government to take care of you). To the person who talked about taxes, I too pay them and lots of them and I do not mind in the least bit as long as it goes to things which benefit everyone such as roads, infrastructure and the such, but not to paying someone's else bills, which do not benefit me or you.

However, back to the subject, and again some people are missing the point. Apple is not above any company and I do think they ever said that, like some other companies implied. The issue is the fact this guy has taken upon himself to investigate everything and ever agreement they have every done looking for some sort of wrong doing. In the US no investigator can go on a fishing trip, they have to know of the wrong doing and specifically say what they are looking for, this guy appears to be asking question and not allowing the people to have legal council involved so they are giving up their right not to incriminate. Apple's point is correct, the judicial branch of the government does not have the authority to investigate neither doe the DOJ, only the police have the authority in this country to open an investigation. This is done to avoid a conflict of interest. Honest I think school need to do a better job of civic so people understand how things work in the country. 

I like the DOJ reason for tossing The claim, "Apple has not provide any argument on how they would be successful," really because he thinks they have not presented a winnable argument that is the reason to drop their claim. I wonder if the DOJ ever thought Apple's lawyers maybe smarter than him and know the law better than him and it is not like the DOJ have not lost meritless cases themselves. Plus a good defense lawyer would not tell the DOJ how they plan to win a case.

You're taking it further south. Stay away from the Big C because without subsidized help I doubt you'll afford the treatment
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgh71 View Post

I think he had a valid point J-odf

What is this -- Stupid Day?

post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaporland View Post

they pay too much for killing of innocents....

I'd much rather see it spent on the arts. it's my tax money...
It's also mine too. I rather they don't spend it all.
post #39 of 44
Meanwhile, taking it back north to the original DOJ inquisition article, here's the likely thread up the chain of command :
Bromwich to Cote : What do we do now ?
Cote to DOJ : What do you want us to do now ?
DOJ to Bezos : How must we proceed now, master ?
Edited by Jony0 - 12/16/13 at 8:31pm
post #40 of 44
I wonder if, once Cote says no, they will be able to take it to the Supreme Court. Since they are saying its unconstitutional. I rather hope so.

There is zero reason for him to be talking to folks outside of the group that does the negotiations. And zero reason Apple should have to pay for anyone other than him. Plus the whole denying folks a lawyer. Not cool

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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