US DOJ argues against Apple motion to remove e-book antitrust monitor

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In an opposition filing on Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice argues that Judge Denise Cote acted within her power when she assigned an external antitrust monitor to Apple, recommending the company's appeal have the monitor removed be denied.

Summation
Apple's closing slide in its e-book antitrust case. | Source: U.S. District Court


According to the filing, the DOJ argues Judge Cote's court did not overstep its bounds by assigning external compliance monitor Michael Bromwich to Apple after the company was found culpable in an e-book price fixing case last year. The document was first spotted by CNET.

From Friday's filing:
In any event, the district court did not exceed its authority in ordering an external monitor for Apple or abuse its discretion in declining to disqualify the selected monitor. Nor can Apple establish that it will be irreparably harmed by the monitorship. Finally, the public interest weighs firmly against any delay in the monitor's work.
Apple won a temporary reprieve on Tuesday when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ordered a halt to the ECM's oversight pending appeal.

The DOJ argues that Apple has not shown "irreparable harm" by the ECM's presence, a stipulation needed to remove Bromwich from his monitorship. Even if Apple were able to prove such conditions, the government says a replacement monitor is called for, not a complete removal.

The filing is the latest development in an ongoing kerfuffle between the Apple and its court-appointed antitrust compliance monitor Michael Bromwich. After finding Apple culpable in an e-book price fixing scheme, Judge Cote appointed Bromwich to ensure the company's current and future dealings are above board.

Apple and Bromwich have been butting heads since the monitorship began. The company has accused Bromwich of conducting an unconstitutional wide-roving inspection atypical of a monitorship.

In December, Apple filed a motion to suspend the "inquisitorial" nature of Bromwich's assignment. Aside from his actions, Bromwich is also charging exorbitant fees to the tune of over $70,000 per week, Apple said.

Judge Cote denied Apple's request to remove the ECM earlier in January, prompting Apple to take its case to appeals court.


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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    Wow Just wow, the DOJ sure has a real issue with apple. They should just shut up and wait for the case with the appeals court to rule. What a bunch of buffoons.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post



    Wow Just wow, the DOJ sure has a real issue with apple. They should just shut up and wait for the case with the appeals court to rule. What a bunch of buffoons.

    What, you'd rather have the DOJ immediately appeal the current appeal if it gets overturned? It's much better to get it all done at once. Let everyone have their say and then make a ruling instead of playing whack-a-mole with appeals on both sides.

  • Reply 3 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post



    Wow Just wow, the DOJ sure has a real issue with apple. They should just shut up and wait for the case with the appeals court to rule. What a bunch of buffoons.

     

    They're doing the job required of them. Let the system work itself out.

  • Reply 4 of 36
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,888member

    I think Apple was originally sued by DOJ.  So how could DOJ tell the Circuit Court what to do?  DOJ is not a neutral party. 

  • Reply 5 of 36
    Holder's team is absolutely out of control. And, he's one pathetic, clueless bureaucrat.
    :no:
  • Reply 6 of 36
    Dear Senior Editor, there are a typos in the article.

    Please replace all instances of DOJ with Amazon.

    Thank You.
  • Reply 7 of 36
    Hey, if there is any appearance of impropriety, real or not, (and there certainly is), they should assign a new one, at minimum.
    Dear Senior Editor, there are a typos in the article.

    Please replace all instances of DOJ with Amazon.

    Thank You.

    Ha!!
  • Reply 8 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    The DOJ argues that Apple has not shown "irreparable harm" by the ECM's presence, a stipulation needed to remove Bromwich from his monitorship. 

    They have to show "irreparable harm?" That seems like an awfully high bar. Too bad it can't be "extremely annoying." :p

  • Reply 9 of 36
    There's certainly something rotten in Denmark (Washington). This tiresome fiasco reeks of government corruption and bureaucratic nonsense at the highest levels.
  • Reply 10 of 36
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,717member

    Whether Judge Denise Cote "acted within her power when she assigned an external antitrust monitor to Apple" is an interesting question, but not nearly as interesting as whether she's entitled to assign her hand-picked crony for the monitor job (and a wholly unqualified crony at that).

  • Reply 11 of 36
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,664member
    DOJ: Amazon contributed a lot of money so Apple is guilty. We must allow Amazon to have a monopoly with barriers to entry.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    b9botb9bot Posts: 238member
    Unqualified crony who hires another to do his job and charge outrageous fees and who happens to be a very good friend of Cote. Something very wrong here with that DOJ.
    Also the fact that Cote said BEFORE the trial started that Apple was guilty and then ruled as such even though there was plenty of evidence against it overwhelming in fact. Something wrong with that too. Cote is just a paid puppet, not a real judge. The appeals court already sees it with just one meeting. DOJ is NOT gonna win the appeals court over I don't think.
    Also the fact that ebooks were priced higher until Apple came onto the market and then dropped to as low as $4.95 from $19.95 before they came into the market. Tell me how Apple made the market bad getting ebooks down to really affordable levels.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by John.B View Post

     

    Whether Judge Denise Cote "acted within her power when she assigned an external antitrust monitor to Apple" is an interesting question, but not nearly as interesting as whether she's entitled to assign her hand-picked crony for the monitor job (and a wholly unqualified crony at that).


    Exactly. I don’t think Apple oppose the idea of a monitor per se (okay maybe a bit), it’s just the choice of monitor that is the problem.

  • Reply 14 of 36
    foadfoad Posts: 697member

    I still don't get why the monitorship even started prior to the January compliance date. This is one of the most bizarre cases I've ever seen.

  • Reply 15 of 36
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    The DOJ argues that Apple has not shown "irreparable harm" by the ECM's presence, a stipulation needed to remove Bromwich from his monitorship. Even if Apple were able to prove such conditions, the government says a replacement monitor is called for, not a complete removal.

     

    So if I robbed a bank of $140,000, I shouldn't be charged because the bank hasn't suffered "irreparable harm".

     

    Is that how this works?

  • Reply 16 of 36
    I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that the scope of the monitor should just be the contracts Apple signs with book publishers, right? I don't understand why he would need to even interview any employees besides the person in charge of iBooks store and the lawyers at Apple that drafted the contracts. What legal reason would he have to interview anybody else?
  • Reply 17 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

     

     

    So if I robbed a bank of $140,000, I shouldn't be charged because the bank hasn't suffered "irreparable harm".

     

    Is that how this works?


    Bank robbery has literally nothing to do with whether a company monitor has overstepped his bounds.

  • Reply 18 of 36
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,509member
    Holder's team is absolutely out of control. And, he's one pathetic, clueless bureaucrat.
    :no:

    If you think any of the visible officials are in control, you are one pathetic, clueless citizen.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,481member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post



    Wow Just wow, the DOJ sure has a real issue with apple. They should just shut up and wait for the case with the appeals court to rule. What a bunch of buffoons.

    We would all like to believe they are singling Apple out, in reality what you are seeing play out here is what happens everyday when anyone who challenges the government authority, they came at you with all guns blazing. Our government does not like it when they are challenge and they do not care if what they are doing it justified or legal since their is no downside for being wrong, however, there is only upside since it show any one else not to challenge the government or else it will cost you, the issue with Apple is they have more money than most companies so does not matter to them to fight or not, it is not about cost which the government hope will cause the other side to think twice.

     

    This was the obvious next step, since the government can not back down otherwise they would have to admit they were wrong and that will not happen.

  • Reply 20 of 36
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DarkLite View Post

     

    Bank robbery has literally nothing to do with whether a company monitor has overstepped his bounds.


     

    $140,000 is a $140,000 mere peanuts to big banks and companies, right?

     

    So the DoJ says that much money doesn't indicate irreparable harm...

     

    ...but $2 or $3 added to the cost of an eBook does.

     

    Apple should take a leaf out of Amazon's book and advertise the reason for an extra charge on iBooks is to pay Bromwich. 

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