Apple finds sympathetic ear in fight to remove antitrust monitor Bromwich

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2015
The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Tuesday heard Apple's arguments to dislodge lawyer Michael Bromwich from his position as external antitrust monitor, with one judge voicing concern over the methods used in his investigation.

Bromwich


During today's proceedings, Circuit Court Judge Dennis Jacobs took issue with Bromwich's monitoring activities, including requests to meet with Apple executives and board members without their lawyers, reports Reuters.

"I think you could see how that could generate substantial anxiety in the company," Judge Jacobs said.

Justice Department counsel Finnuala Tessier retorted, saying Bromwich has not met with Apple executives without legal representation present. She also addressed concerns that Bromwich held private discussions with the DOJ, saying such talks are necessary and expected.

"Monitorships would be unworkable otherwise," Tessier said.

Judge Jacobs also took issue with the $1,100 per hour fees Bromwich initially charged Apple for his services, saying the public would be "flabbergasted" at the amount. In late 2013, Apple said Bromwich required excessive pay, which at the time came out to $138,432.40 for two weeks of work.

Bromwich's working rate has since been reduced to an undisclosed figure, but Judge Jacobs ordered current details be filed by Thursday.

Bromwich was appointed by federal Judge Denise Cote to in 2013 after the company was found found guilty of colluding with book publishers to falsely inflate e-book prices. The external monitor is tasked with ensuring Apple abides to the ruling and does not enter into similar unsavory business deals.

Apple has accused Bromwich of conducting a wide-roving and unconstitutional investigation of the company, an argument reiterated by Apple lawyer Theodore Boutrous in court today.

If the three-judge panel grants Apple's appeal, it could result in the company avoiding a $450 million settlement class action settlement to 33 attorneys general and consumers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,579member

    About bloody time.

     

    Now subpoena all communications between Cote and Bromwich.

  • Reply 2 of 25
    That's $1100 PER HOUR, not per week, he was charging. That didn't include his need to hire another lawyer who was actually an expert in the field, unlike Bromwich.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 256member
    From the article you referenced...

    "Apple previously also objected to Bromwich's fees, initially $1,100 an hour before being reduced to an undisclosed amount."

    You're reporting $1,100 week at the moment.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     

    About bloody time.

     

    Now subpoena all communications between Cote and Bromwich.




    As well as Cote and the DOJ, Google, Amazon, etc.

  • Reply 5 of 25
    bizzarebizzare Posts: 61member
    They should look into Denise Cote too
  • Reply 6 of 25
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,632member
    Rip that frakker a new one.
  • Reply 7 of 25
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,094member
    If Judge Cote didn't have a long history of pre-deciding cases and appointing friends to such positions, I'd say that this was a case of Apple fans (and I am one) ganging up on someone who ruled against them. Apple does -- justifiably -- lose court cases sometimes.

    But in this case the facts are even worse than Apple supporters are making them out to be. I hope the appeals court gets it right.
  • Reply 8 of 25
    astroastro Posts: 22member

    This is undeniably less and less about false inflation and more and more about getting more money into the lawyer's pockets. $1100 AN HOUR? 

     

    BLOODSUCKING LAWYERS. 

  • Reply 9 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     



    As well as Cote and the DOJ, Google, Amazon, etc.




    At this point it's not entirely unrealistic (even though it sounds like paranoid lunacy to anyone not paying attention to current events) to imagine a scenario where Cote, Bromwich and one (or several) of the three-letter agencies are working together to infiltrate Apple to bug or obtain corporate secrets to better enable access to Apple's software or hardware. Crazy, right?...right?

     

    A more likely scenario is Cote using the case to benefit herself and her troll minion by charging Apple up the wazoo for said troll's "services".

  • Reply 10 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     



    As well as Cote and the DOJ, Google, Amazon, etc.




    I have always thought it was very bizarre how she ruled against Apple. There really was no colluding going on between Apple and the five publishers. Yes, Apple went to each one with the same contract; that is just good business sense (don't get me started on the most favored nation clause, it did not cause the rates to be raised). And Apple did not set the prices of the books in question. Not only that, but Apple was the new kid on the block in comparison to Amazon. So how are they the monopoly that needs to be punished again? I have never understood that.

     

    As for investigating the communications between the judge, the DOJ, and other "interested parties"; I would say go for it! It isn't like Apple doesn't have the monetary might to make a huge stink of it, and they could very easily get the public's opinion on this swayed to their side.

  • Reply 11 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,579member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mike Eggleston View Post

     



    I have always thought it was very bizarre how she ruled against Apple. There really was no colluding going on between Apple and the five publishers. Yes, Apple went to each one with the same contract; that is just good business sense (don't get me started on the most favored nation clause, it did not cause the rates to be raised). And Apple did not set the prices of the books in question. Not only that, but Apple was the new kid on the block in comparison to Amazon. So how are they the monopoly that needs to be punished again? I have never understood that.

     

    As for investigating the communications between the judge, the DOJ, and other "interested parties"; I would say go for it! It isn't like Apple doesn't have the monetary might to make a huge stink of it, and they could very easily get the public's opinion on this swayed to their side.




    No one capable of lucid thought would disagree with you. Cote (in my opinion) was clearly acting outside the boundaries of the law.

  • Reply 12 of 25
    And they say government jobs don't pay well.
  • Reply 13 of 25
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,579member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    And they say government jobs don't pay well.



    People who say that are uninformed. Government is the biggest racket out there.

  • Reply 14 of 25
    revenantrevenant Posts: 482member

    i am still unable to comprehend how 1, amazon is not seen as a manipulator of prices and 2, how cote's choice of bromwich was not a conflict of interest.

  • Reply 15 of 25
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,573member
    What a prick. I hope, but seriously doubt anything will be done to this prick.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,808member
    This is utterly absurd, Amazon has free reign on the book market with insignificant competition.

    My wife was one of the attorneys on this case, although she cannot disclose any information to me, she refuses to shop on Amazon.
  • Reply 17 of 25
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    This is utterly absurd, Amazon has free reign on the book market with insignificant competition.

    My wife was one of the attorneys on this case, although she cannot disclose any information to me, she refuses to shop on Amazon.

    The publishers have nobody to blame but themselves. They allowed themselves to be taken by Amazon. Btw it's 'free rein', as in a horse riding sans rider.
  • Reply 18 of 25
    creepy opportunist. Did I say greedy too? Apple waited and collected compelling evidence that there is abuse. Lets see if the judge is "fair and balanced".
  • Reply 19 of 25
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

     

    About bloody time.

     

    Now subpoena all communications between Cote and Bromwich.


     

    Unless someone bugged their corner table at Masa while dining over their "victory", I don't think we'll ever know what transpired between them.

  • Reply 20 of 25
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,197member
    I think it is truly astounding people can proclaim blood sucking lawyers for this but think it rational that Koch Industries/Duke Energy and others are just trying to profit while ignoring their destroying the environment of DC via lobbying on steroids, bribing the Supreme Court [Scalia & Thomas invites to private parties and Koch fund raisers], and the actual planet's climate.
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