WSJ blasts Apple e-books antitrust judge in scathing editorial

in General Discussion edited January 2014
A new opinion piece lambasts Judge Denise Cote, the federal judge in charge of the Justice Department's antitrust suit against Apple, for being "abusive" and "shredding the separation of constitutional powers" by appointing and granting broad authority to antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich.

Michael Bromwich | Source: ZUMA Press via

The Wall Street Journal's harsh critique mirrors many of the grievances outlined by Apple in the iPhone maker's complaint to the court last week, taking issue with Bromwich's fees --?which exceeded $100,000 in just his first two weeks --?and accusing Cote of granting Bromwich "carte blanche to act as the inquisitor of all things Cupertino."

Judge Cote "essentially ruled before hearing the evidence" against Apple and her appointment of an external monitor at all, let alone Bromwich, whom the Journal calls "her friend," is viewed by the paper as a "flatly unconstitutional" violation of her mandate in the case.
The "judicial duty" under the Constitution's Article III vests judges with the power to resolve "cases and controversies." Prosecutors enforce laws, conduct investigations and uncover evidence. Judges aren't supposed to appoint their own agents to annex such activities reserved for the executive branch. Mr. Bromwich has rewritten his job description to investigate Apple all over again, not simply monitor if Apple is abiding by the terms of the court judgment while it appeals the case.
The Journal continues to rake Bromwich over the coals, painting him as a "political fixer" linked to the investigations of the BP Horizon deepwater oil spill and the Reagan administration's Iran-Contra affair. Bromwich's service as the Justice Department's inspector general is also called into question, with the revelation that Judge Cote herself penned an endorsement for Bromwich that helped get the prosecutor confirmed by the Senate despite concerns about conflicts of interest.

Judge Cote's "condominium with Mr. Bromwich is offensive to the rule of law and a disgrace to the judiciary," the paper asserts in a final, biting flourish.

Not ordinarily in such an incendiary mood, the Journal may be coming to the aid of its News Corp. stablemate and Apple's fellow antitrust defendant, publisher HarperCollins, which Fortune's Philip Elmer-Dewitt points out was originally averse to joining with Apple and only did so after a personal appeal from Apple's then-CEO Steve Jobs to News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch.


  • Reply 1 of 67
    irelandireland Posts: 17,569member
    It's a money grab. I'd love someone working for the US gov to go to jail over this.
  • Reply 2 of 67
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,164member
    Wow! This is heating up. One has to wonder where the Apple hate came from in the first place?
  • Reply 3 of 67
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

    Wow! This is heating up. One has to wonder where the Apple hate came from in the first place?


    The Axis of Don’t Be Evil, comprised of Redmont, WA, Mountain View, CA, and the entirety of SK.

  • Reply 4 of 67
    muadibemuadibe Posts: 133member
    The judge's statement BEFORE the trial that she would find Apple guilty should have been enough to have her removed from that case. I'm amazed it was allowed to go this far. The woman hates Apple for some reason.
  • Reply 5 of 67
    Our court systems have always been somewhat corrupt. However, this is an in-your-face judicial corruption. If this judge get's fired, my faith in America's judicial system will be somewhat restored, but I have a feeling that, if anything, she'll get a slap on the wrist.
  • Reply 6 of 67
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,908member
    Huh... I don't exactly trust the editorial page of the WSJ, but this situation does seem pretty odd. Ultimately this will not be resolved by editorials, but by a legal process. If this judge has broken the law or acted improperly, she made a big mistake doing it against Apple -- Apple has the resources to pursue this process as far as it needs to go.

    The real shame of our legal system is that it heavily favors those with the deepest pockets who can afford to fund endless litigation. If this judge had picked on a financially weaker company or person, she would probably get away with it.
  • Reply 7 of 67

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

    One has to wonder where the Apple hate came from in the first place?

    Where did the Apple hate come from? Check out the game tape. The hate started in 1976.

  • Reply 8 of 67

    DOJ probably thought since Apple didn't bend over, let's make them pay...  Apple can afford it.

  • Reply 9 of 67

    Kudos to the Wall Street Journal. I disagree with their editorials and op-eds a lot, but on some issues, such as antitrust, preservation of genuine competition, and holding the government/judiciary accountable, they are second to none.


    The op-ed and editorial pages of papers like the NYT are just way too beholden to the corrupt and power-grabbing left.*



    *I am not, by any stretch, implying that all of the Left is either corrupt or power-grabbing -- indeed, most of it is not; simply pointing out to whom the NYT is beholden.

  • Reply 10 of 67
    Yeah. I read about this in Fortune, which is the source of this mild rewording.
  • Reply 11 of 67

    Here's hoping Judge Cote will explain her position because this is some pretty devastating accusations even if it's from the WSJ rag.


    It isn't just her behaviour, it's also the DoJ.  Of all the price fixing going on out there, LIBOR, EURBOR, ISDAfix, foreign currency exchange, price of oil, price of gold, price of sliver, price of food, the DoJ decided to put all it's efforts at deal with pricing fixing in ... ebooks.


    The elites from top to bottom are losing credibility and pretty soon someone is going to finally say, "you know what, f**k 'em.  They're not doing their jobs so I'll just do it for them."  The quiet judicial release of the three GE finance executives over Thanksgiving is yet another example.

  • Reply 12 of 67
    At least two lawyers at Goodwin Proctor LLP work on Samsung cases. Karen A. Spindler the join the firm earlier this year. She counseled Samsung in connection with patent acquisitions and complex strategic licensing transactions.

    Thomas Scott mitigated the Semiconductor Energy Laboratories Corporation versus Samsung Electronics Corporation in 1998.

    Seeing that Michael Bromwich has a connection with Goodwin Proctor LLP which has a connection with Samsung is not good.

    To add fuel, Michael has had a long-term friendship with Judge Cote who initially authorized Michael to... speak to her without Apple's lawyers present nor a transcript of what was spoken being required, interview any or all Apple employees without legal representation, start his job before the 90-day period she set to give Apple the chance to complete its new policy document, publish all Apple interviews whenever he wanted definitely starts to seem like collusion against Apple going on.

    And to think the US government is the ring master of all of the underhandedness. Could Snowden have been right to do what he did to expose the spying tactics of the government?

    What does the government want from Apple that Apple has chosen not to provide?
  • Reply 13 of 67
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,164member
    cherrypop wrote: »

    Where did the Apple hate come from? Check out the game tape. The hate started in 1976.

    I was specifically referring to this case. I owned an Apple dealership from 1978 I know the history thanks.
  • Reply 14 of 67
    irelandireland Posts: 17,569member

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

    Yeah. I read about this in Fortune, which is the source of this mild rewording.


    Holy crap! You serious?

  • Reply 15 of 67
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,939member

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

    Wow! This is heating up. One has to wonder where the Apple hate came from in the first place?


    I think it has more to do with this Bromwich character billing Apple $1100.00/hr for his “monitoring” services. I believe his first bill was for $176,000.00. For what? Always follow the money. Bromwich is the judge’s “friend” and he is given this job. Not hate, politics and greed.
  • Reply 16 of 67
    Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post

    What does the government want from Apple that Apple has chosen not to provide?


    The US intelligence complex wants an unfettered backdoor in Apple's rock-solid ecosystem.


    I have tried to outline this in a previous post last week or so.

  • Reply 17 of 67
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member

    I read it through and had to check twice (I was on my 5s) that is really WAS the WSJ. Pretty take no prisoners scathing.


    Ripped both the judge and the monitor big time. The zero antitrust experience and having to hire a "helper" law firm to back up his ignorance at the same rate he's billing was pitiful.

  • Reply 18 of 67

    This whole case truly makes my head spin. Going to the WSJ and reading the comment section there is mostly an exercise in the vast spectrum of political spin doctoring leaning heavily toward the side of 'well, all those SV democrats supported Obama so I hope they finally learn but I doubt it' kind of thing. At least one very serious commenter believes that Bromwich is also empowered to determine why Apples hardware 'costs so much more than the market average'.


    I find the close relationship between the judge and the inquisitor curious and to me it smacks of malfeasance, at least I hope that qualifies as malfeasance … This Bromwich is obviously super well-connected, not just with the judge. I hope this editorial and more like it can bring more of a spotlight to this judicially sanctioned harassment. 

  • Reply 19 of 67
    Our judges have failed us (Americans) on a national level. They have all too often let their personal emotions cloud their judgement. We see it more and more. Unfortunately for Apple, they are seeing it first hand. "With great power comes great responsibility..."
  • Reply 20 of 67
    Michael Bromwich looks like a stereotypical caricature from anti-Semitic cartoon.
Sign In or Register to comment.