Apple assigned outside antitrust monitor to watch over e-books business

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
New York Judge Denise Cote on Wednesday assigned Apple a third-party monitor to ensure compliance with federal antitrust laws, one result of the U.S. Department of Justice's successful case against the company over e-book price fixing.

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


Judge Cote's order named former DOJ Inspector General and federal prosecutor Michael Bromwich as External Monitor at Apple, a position he will keep for a period of two years.

Prior to his role at the DOJ, Bromwich most recently served as the first director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a body created in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Also of note, Bromwich served as an independent monitor to the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia in 2002 and was one of three federal lawyers in the U.S. case against Oliver North.

As noted by CNET, the two-year term is far less than the five-year injunction Apple was handed as part of the July ruling. The company is currently barred from joining i any "most-favored-nation" clauses with e-book publishers, as well as any content provider.

For its part, Apple said during the trial post-trial proceedings that an external monitor was unnecessary and would cause undue burden for the company, but Judge Cote disagreed, saying that Bromwich's presence is a result of "blatant" antitrust violations.

In July, Apple was found guilty of colluding with five major book publishers to fix the price of e-books sold on the iBookstore. When handing down her ruling, Judge Cote promised a "light" injunction against Apple's business. Both parties made concessions on the final terms for a remedy, with Apple agreeing to stagger negotiations with book publishers, while the DOJ trimmed its injunction demand from ten years to five.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,547member
    Am I the only one to find a spooky resemblance between this high-paid babysitter and Steve Jobs? Brrr......
  • Reply 2 of 21
    Blatant? Like her pre-trial comments that Apple was guilty shows "blatant" bias?
  • Reply 3 of 21
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    Stupid.
  • Reply 4 of 21
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,979member
    sflocal wrote: »
    Am I the only one to find a spooky resemblance between this high-paid babysitter and Steve Jobs? Brrr......

    Almost like a bizzaro SJ :lol:
  • Reply 5 of 21
    mubailimubaili Posts: 388member
    I thought Apple filed appeal on the case, wth?
  • Reply 6 of 21
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,833member
    So basically Apple is now allowed to undercut any competitor just as Amazon does. So much for maintaining some semblance of a competitive e-book market. I predict in a couple of years there will be only two ebook distributors in the world, Apple and Amazon.

    Apple should just give away 5 ibooks for every iPad purchase - including text books.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    I picture Bromwich showing up at meetings and saying: "Let us begin by giving thanks to our Lord Jeff Bezos..."
  • Reply 8 of 21
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,979member
    mjtomlin wrote: »
    I predict in a couple of years there will be only two ebook distributors in the world, Apple and Amazon.

    That would've been the end result anyway.
  • Reply 9 of 21

    What intrusive b-s. Cote is a piece of work.

     

    We call this country a beacon of capitalism?!

     

    Put this guy in a janitor's closet (with no offense meant to janitors), and circumscribe every iota of his oversight to only what is absolutely, totally relevant to iBooks. Every spare lawyer at Apple should spend the first few months of his job negotiating and dotting every "i" and crossing every "t" regarding what he can and cannot do there.

     

    Ugh.

  • Reply 10 of 21
    starbird73 wrote: »
    Blatant? Like her pre-trial comments that Apple was guilty shows "blatant" bias?

    I was going to comment how much I dislike the use of "blatant" by this judge.
  • Reply 11 of 21

    Kick Uncle Al off the board, he obviously x-VP brings no help to the table! 

  • Reply 12 of 21
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    Not a huge issue. Apple is filing an appeal over the whole ruling and will likely petition to get all 'punishments' including this guy frozen until that is over. So he won't be around for long.

    The whole thing is a farce. If the DOJ really wants to help consumers they need to push industry wide rules against every player. Books, movies etc.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    starbird73 wrote: »
    Blatant? Like her pre-trial comments that Apple was guilty shows "blatant" bias?

    That will likely come up in the appeal
  • Reply 14 of 21
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    So what will this role entail?

    Will he sit in his Commissar's office with a list of books ensuring that the Government mandated prices of the Soviet Socialist United States of America are adhered to?

    The proletariat shall have their books and a bottle of potato vodka in every kitchen.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post



    So what will this role entail?



    Will he sit in his Commissar's office with a list of books ensuring that the Government mandated prices of the Soviet Socialist United States of America are adhered to?



    The proletariat shall have their books and a bottle of potato vodka in every kitchen.



    It's not communism, it's the result of capitalism: plutocratia. Here, the winner is Amazon.

  • Reply 16 of 21
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

     



    It's not communism, it's the result of capitalism: plutocratia. Here, the winner is Amazon.


     

    The politburo has a manifesto of Government fixed eBook pricing, in communist America you don't price book, book prices you.

  • Reply 17 of 21
    jessijessi Posts: 302member

    So, let me get this straight, this guy ensuring "compliance" is associated with the gang of thugs who persecuted Apple as part of their shakedown racket?   Talk about blatant conflict of interest.  Literally, the fox is guarding the henhouse here.

     

    Apple needs to start paying off the politicians' demands for bribes, or this kind of persecution is going to continue.

     

    This is nothing more than a shakedown racket.... 

     

    And when is the special prosecutor going to be appointed for Cotes corruption trial?

  • Reply 18 of 21
    jessijessi Posts: 302member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

    It's not communism, it's the result of capitalism: plutocratia. Here, the winner is Amazon.

     

    No, in capitalism the government does not have the power to dictate who wins or loses.  Only the market does.

     

    When the government dictates who wins or loses, that's fascism.  Fascism is an ostensibly capitalist system controlled by a government with unlimited power (and it usually results in tyranny / dictatorships, etc.) 

     

    In communism all industry is owned by the government.  In socialism, major industries are owned by the government.  In capitalism, no industries are owned or controlled by the government.

  • Reply 19 of 21
    jessijessi Posts: 302member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Richard Getz View Post

     

    Kick Uncle Al off the board, he obviously x-VP brings no help to the table! 


     

    This is a good point.  What's his purpose for being on the board if he can't keep the goose stepping thugs at bay?   Obviously, as he's never run a successful business, he has no business value.  His only value is political, so why can't Apple start demanding he earn it? 

  • Reply 20 of 21
    I was going to comment how much I dislike the use of "blatant" by this judge.

    Want to pool together and gift her a dictionary app?
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