Judge denies Apple request to remove e-books antitrust monitor

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple on Monday was denied its motion to remove a court-appointed antitrust monitor tasked to ensure the company would not enter into further illegal agreements after being found culpable in an e-book price fixing scheme last year.

iBooks


In a hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote blocked the motion to remove Michael Bromwich from his post, saying there was "nothing improper" about the monitor's recently filed declaration, reports Reuters. Apple cited the filing as grounds for dismissal, claiming it suggested personal bias against the company.

"I want the monitorship to succeed for Apple," Judge Cote said.

The jurist's full decision will be made available when she issues a decision later today. Apple counsel has already promised the ruling will be appealed.

Monday's determination is the latest development in an ongoing feud between Apple and Bromwich. The parties' relationship has been strained almost since the start of the former Justice Department Inspector General's assignment.

As seen in multiple court filings, Apple takes issue with how Bromwich is handling his monitorship, including what the company feels is an overstepping of boundaries, exorbitant fees and conducting a "roving" investigation.

For his part, Bromwich claims Apple has been less than cooperative in furnishing employee interviews and deemed-necessary documentation in a timely manner. Both complaints were outlined in detail in the ECM's December declaration.

Bromwich was vetted and selected by Judge Cote to monitor Apple after she found the company to have conspired in falsely inflating the price of e-books sold through the iBookstore.

After Judge Cote's decision is officially filed, Apple has 48 hours to seek an emergency stay from a federal appeal court.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    "for Apple"? Let's try "against Apple". Or "succeed in putting Apple out of business so my Google stock goes up."
  • Reply 2 of 48
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,876member
    This is illegal. How can the judge that appointed Michael Bromwich make the decision the second time? The US Judicial system is fully corrupted.
  • Reply 3 of 48
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,435member
    The jurist's full decision will be made available when she issues a decision later today. Apple counsel has already promised the ruling will be appealed.

    They don't mock around, these Apple lawyers.

    I thought Apples reasoning was fair. Apparently the jury thought otherwise...?
  • Reply 4 of 48
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,029member
    A judge other than Cote making that decision would have been a nice idea.
  • Reply 5 of 48
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,029member
    philboogie wrote: »
    They don't mock around, these Apple lawyers.

    I thought Apples reasoning was fair. Apparently the jury thought otherwise...?

    Jurist, not jury. ;)
  • Reply 6 of 48
    dm3dm3 Posts: 150member
    What is DOJs beef w Apple? Seems personal and should not be allowed. Someone at DOJ needs to be removed. Who do they report to? How does this get overruled?

    And all to support the poor defenseless Amazon book monopoly. Amazing.
  • Reply 7 of 48
    kpomkpom Posts: 615member

    Not unexpected given the judge's previous comments about Apple during the case. My guess is that the brief was written primarily for the appellate court.

  • Reply 8 of 48
    The judge works for the US government. Do the math.
  • Reply 9 of 48
    Cote is real piece of work. She's really pushing the envelope. Looks like she's going to go out either in a blaze of glory or in ignominy.

    I think I know which one. 8-)
  • Reply 10 of 48
    I sure wish I was Cote's buddy. $1,100/hour? Seriously? Plus 15% in fees? This is just as contemptible as Chris Christie's behavior. Both belong in jail, end of story. Regardless of the validity of the case against Apple, this is someone using her position of power to generate huge profits for her and her friends. Despicable.
  • Reply 11 of 48
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post



    A judge other than Cote making that decision would have been a nice idea.

     

    I presume they could file for an appeal or review with the next higher court?

  • Reply 12 of 48
    Apple on Monday was denied its motion to remove a court-appointed antitrust monitor tasked to ensure the company would not enter into further illegal agreements after being found culpable in an e-book price fixing scheme last year.

    <div align="center"><img src="http://cdn1.appleinsider.com/13.05.24-iBooks.jpg" alt="iBooks" width="600" height="413" class="lazy" data-original="http://cdn1.appleinsider.com/13.05.24-iBooks.jpg" style="display: inline;"></div>

    In a hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/13/us-apple-antitrust-idUSBREA0C1HY20140113">blocked the motion</a> to remove Michael Bromwich from his post, saying there was "nothing improper" about the monitor's recently filed declaration, reports <em>Reuters</em>. Apple cited the filing as <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/01/07/apple-looks-to-remove-external-antitrust-compliance-monitor-">grounds for dismissal</a>, claiming it suggested personal bias against the company.

    "I want the monitorship to succeed for Apple," Judge Cote said.

    The jurist's full decision will be made available when she issues a decision later today. Apple counsel has already promised the ruling will be appealed.

    Monday's determination is the latest development in an ongoing feud between Apple and Bromwich. The parties' relationship has been strained almost since the start of the former Justice Department Inspector General's assignment.

    As seen in multiple court filings, Apple takes issue with how Bromwich is handling his monitorship, including what the company feels is an overstepping of boundaries, <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/11/29/apple-at-odds-with-e-book-antitrust-monitor-over-70k-per-week-fee-unreasonable-demands">exorbitant fees</a> and conducting a "roving" investigation.

    For his part, Bromwich claims Apple has been <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/12/30/antitrust-monitor-rebuts-apple-accusations-of-unconstitutional-investigation">less than cooperative</a> in furnishing employee interviews and deemed-necessary documentation in a timely manner. Both complaints were outlined in detail in the ECM's December declaration.

    Bromwich was vetted and selected by Judge Cote to monitor Apple after she found the company <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/07/10/judge-rules-apple-conspired-to-raise-e-book-prices">to have conspired</a> in falsely inflating the price of e-books sold through the iBookstore.

    After Judge Cote's decision is officially filed, Apple has 48 hours to seek an emergency stay from a federal appeal court.
  • Reply 13 of 48
    Any appeal should be funneled to a neutral, superior panel of judges, not the one who appointed the Special Master.
  • Reply 14 of 48
    Cote and Bromwich are cronies. Of course she would do this.

    The best decision would have been to hire the lawyer that Bromwich hired in the first place to do his job.

    Apple's best step is to videotape every meeting with Bromwich. This is to make sure Bromwich is aware that his every move is also being investigated.
  • Reply 15 of 48
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,647member
    Read between the lines: Cote probably gets a "finders" fee from Bromwich. Why would she stop her money train.
  • Reply 16 of 48
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,647member
    jameskatt2 wrote: »

    Apple's best step is to videotape every meeting with Bromwich. This is to make sure Bromwich is aware that his every move is also being investigated.

    Who still uses videotape? :)
  • Reply 17 of 48
    iacliacl Posts: 5member
    :) in all fairness, and I think the whole issue here is supposedly fairness, shouldn't every other publisher and reseller combo be required to meet the same conditions. Otherwise, this is plainly anticompetitive, discriminatory and not just a little bit bullying.

    Pretty sure this wouldn't happen under Australian law, where we have an independent watchdog (with teeth).
  • Reply 18 of 48
    cintoscintos Posts: 105member
    Apple does not understand that the DOJ desires the company to support a multi $Billion lobby network in DC to employ lawyers "friendly" with the government.

    Perhaps it is time for Apple to set up corporate offices in Taiwan or Singapore. Heck, that's where most of their product is manufactured.
  • Reply 19 of 48
    Wow, I want to be a monitor. I could retire in a year with the dough Bromwich pulls in.
  • Reply 20 of 48
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,647member
    In the mean time, Amazon is back to 90% market share. Yay, govt enabled monopoly. :(
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