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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:16 AM   #1
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External Compliance Monitor: Apple is Blocking Interviews, Disrupting E-Book Antitrust Investigation [Updated]




Michael Bromwich, the external compliance monitor assigned to Apple as a result of its e-book antitrust case, has filed papers in a U.S. District Court accusing the company of being uncooperative and obstructive in his investigation, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The lawyer stated that Apple characterized his team's activities as a "roving investigation" with no worthwhile purpose, even going on to say that individuals within the company purposely blocked him from interviewing top-level officials and senior executives.
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On Monday, Mr. Bromwich said he routinely met with top management at the three organizations he previously monitored and had "never before had a request for a meeting or interview in a monitoring assignment rejected or even deferred."

"This is far less access than I have ever received during a comparable period of time in the three other monitorships I have conducted," Mr. Bromwich said.

According to the emails filed by Mr. Bromwich, his relationship with Apple was rocky from the start. After Mr. Bromwich sent Kyle Andeer, Apple's director of competition law, an email detailing his rates and the contours of his oversight, the wide gaps between the two party's expectations came into focus.
The news follows a formal complaint filed by Apple last month over Bromwich's handling of the case, stating that the lawyer charged exorbitant fees that the company was unhappy with. Following two weeks of work, Bromwich sent Apple an invoice of $138,432, which the company described as "unprecedented in its experience." Apple also spoke out against Bromwich's requests for interviews with high level officials, stating that the lawyer was overstepping his bounds.

In July, Apple was found guilty of of conspiring with five publishers to raise the retail price of e-books, following a lawsuit brought by the United States Department of Justice. As a result of its punishment, Apple was ordered to hire an external compliance monitor to ensure that the company complies with all antitrust requirements in the future.

Apple also continues to deny that it engaged in price fixing and filed a notice in October to appeal the case, with the company likely to submit its formal arguments in early 2014.

Update: The Justice Department has urged Judge Denise Cote to reject Apple's requests and that the attacks on Bromwich "only highlight the critical need for his monitorship to continue uninterrupted", saying the company was looking to "shield its highest-level executives and board members from the perceived inconvenience" of meeting with the court monitor.

Article Link: External Compliance Monitor: Apple is Blocking Interviews, Disrupting E-Book Antitrust Investigation [Updated]
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:20 AM   #2
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Bromwich sounds like a crybaby. Apple executives have more important things to do than interview with someone who is overseeing iBooks. I doubt iBooks even shows up as a blip on the revenue stream.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:20 AM   #3
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Apple also continues to deny that it engaged in price fixing and filed a notice in October to appeal the case, with the company likely to submit its formal arguments in early 2014.
I wonder who is paying for this "compliance monitoring" when Apple's appeal is successful. Here is theregister's take on the situation:

"The biggest negative in 2013 was the bizarre decision from Judge Cote in the ebooks price-fixing case, which handed Amazon a retail monopoly: permitting it to sell books at below cost, while tying Apple's hands. Bizarre, because harm wasn't demonstrated - prices across the market continued to fall - and the long-term consequence is a less competitive book industry. Expect it to look much more like Hollywood each year. And not in a good way".
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:22 AM   #4
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Like it or not, Apple has to comply and it they don't they'll be on the losing end of a judgement to force them to do so.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:23 AM   #5
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Bromwich sounds like a crybaby. Apple executives have more important things to do than interview with someone who is overseeing iBooks. I doubt iBooks even shows up as a blip on revenue.
Bromwich isn't a crybaby. He is a very clever man who tries whatever he can to produce more billable hours out of nothing. Why would he want to sit still until 2014 when he can try to interview Apple's top brass and charge $1,100 an hour for it?

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Like it or not, Apple has to comply and it they don't they'll be on the losing end of a judgement to force them to do so.
Like it or not, Apple will do whatever is in their power to pay money to the leech. Here's the best possible outcome: Once Apple's appeal succeeds (which is quite inevitable because that ruling can only be called bizarre), they will refuse to pay Bromwich's bills. He will then have to go to court, and Apple will drag this out as much as they can.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:25 AM   #6
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Bromwich sounds like a crybaby. Apple executives have more important things to do than interview with someone who is overseeing iBooks. I doubt iBooks even shows up as a blip on the revenue stream.
More important things to do than comply with something they have been ordered to do as a result of a court case?

Apple is not above the law.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:29 AM   #7
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Huge disgusting corporation acts like huge disgusting corporation...shocking
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:31 AM   #8
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More important things to do than comply with something they have been ordered to do as a result of a court case?

Apple is not above the law.
Neither is Bromwich. He had a specific remit to monitor compliance, and not to conduct a witch hunt at $1025-$1100/hr. He sounds like someone who is used to getting his way and sees Apple as a gravy train.

He's a former DOJ attorney who is now raking it in as a "contractor," using his connections with the judge (who seemingly was biased and has a great chance of being slapped down by the appellate court).
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:41 AM   #9
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Neither is Bromwich. He had a specific remit to monitor compliance, and not to conduct a witch hunt at $1025-$1100/hr. He sounds like someone who is used to getting his way and sees Apple as a gravy train.

He's a former DOJ attorney who is now raking it in as a "contractor," using his connections with the judge (who seemingly was biased and has a great chance of being slapped down by the appellate court).
And what law is he breaking?

Just because Apple is used to overcharging their customers and now finds itself on the receiving end, it doesn't make it illegal.

If Tim Cook wants to play hardball, perhaps some jail time for contempt will set him straight.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:43 AM   #10
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He's a former DOJ attorney who is now raking it in as a "contractor," using his connections with the judge (who seemingly was biased and has a great chance of being slapped down by the appellate court).
That may or may not be the case, but, until the appeal is successful, if it is, Apple needs to comply with the monitor. As a customer, I find Apple's position to be very poor--I've gone from total Apple enthusiast to liking this company less and less. They need an attitude adjustment.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by gnasher729 View Post
Like it or not, Apple will do whatever is in their power to pay money to the leech. Here's the best possible outcome: Once Apple's appeal succeeds (which is quite inevitable because that ruling can only be called bizarre), they will refuse to pay Bromwich's bills. He will then have to go to court, and Apple will drag this out as much as they can.
I can't answer to how the appeal may or may not go because I've not followed the case close enough to formulate an opinion but if court gets complaints from the monitor that apple is not living up to the judgement then they could be in deep doo-doo (sorry for my overly technical response )
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:47 AM   #12
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And y'all say Samsung are sly buggers. Apple are just as bad.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:52 AM   #13
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And y'all say Samsung are sly buggers. Apple are just as bad.
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Like it or not, Apple has to comply and it they don't they'll be on the losing end of a judgement to force them to do so.
Did you read Apple's complaint against him?

I find it hard to believe anyone can think Apple is in the wrong here once you've read what this guy's been asking for.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:53 AM   #14
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Has Apple formally responded to these claims yet?
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:53 AM   #15
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So much for Apple trying to save the publishing industry. Let's just let Amazon run it into the ground with $2 books.

Is it even worth all of this hassle for Apple? I know they want to provide a complete solution to those who use their products, but would most people even notice if iBooks went away? I doubt they make that much money. It's probably a small fraction of what the App Store makes, which is already a fraction of what they make on hardware. Executives don't have time to waste on such a small aspect of their business.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:56 AM   #16
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And what law is he breaking?
Well, for one, the secret meetings he's had with the judge are against the rules.

The judge has both said that the meetings aren't happening and then that they'll promise not to do them in the future, which is an odd thing to say if they never intended to do them.

And I know there's no law against demanding to meet Jony Ive and Al Gore, but it sure a hell makes me think this guy is going WAY outside the scope of his assignment. Or does that seem normal to you?
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 08:59 AM   #17
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 09:00 AM   #18
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"The biggest negative in 2013 was the bizarre decision from Judge Cote in the ebooks price-fixing case, which handed Amazon a retail monopoly: permitting it to sell books at below cost,
Wrong, total ebook division was profitable

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while tying Apple's hands. Bizarre, because harm wasn't demonstrated - prices across the market continued to fall
Wrong, ebook prices for the 4 publishers accused of price fixing increased

Quote:
- and the long-term consequence is a less competitive book industry.

Wrong, now retailers can compete changing prices

Perhaps The Register has to re read the ruling and all the trial documentation because it seems that they didn't read it



And regarding the article, Apple has all the right to try to lower what pays to the monitor
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 09:02 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Small White Car View Post
Did you read Apple's complaint against him?

I find it hard to believe anyone can think Apple is in the wrong here once you've read what this guy's been asking for.
It is easy when people reply based on emotion instead of facts or logic. Most of these people supporting this dislike Apple, and that is all that they need to know.

Even people who break the law have rights, and from what Apple has presented and is claiming Bromwich is very much infringing on Apple's rights. And quite frankly if they are right then the judge herself might be in violation of the Constitution.

Apple may not have been in the right with this original case, but I am far, far more concerned with a judge who thinks she is above the law then a corporation that thinks they are.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 09:02 AM   #20
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Did you read Apple's complaint against him?

I find it hard to believe anyone can think Apple is in the wrong here once you've read what this guy's been asking for.
Yeah I did, I'm not disagreeing with you, but what I'm saying is that if the judge thinks they're not being cooperative, then the court will come down on Apple even harder.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 09:02 AM   #21
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So he admits that the investigation is coming after the judgment. Should prove to be a good piece of evidence to get a successful appeal.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 09:03 AM   #22
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Before an opinion should be made, one needs to parse the actual order regarding the monitor's charge. Monitor's are not allowed to run the company, or second guess management.

So, Apple's argument would be he is overstepping his assignment and attempting to interfere with management.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 09:07 AM   #23
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I have a hard time believing the Judge didn't get dismisssed. Regardless if Apple is right or wrong in this case. A judge can not publicly state that a defendant is guilty, before the trial has even started.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 09:08 AM   #24
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Did you read Apple's complaint against him?

I find it hard to believe anyone can think Apple is in the wrong here once you've read what this guy's been asking for.
Sorta dispicable. Same way Apple is asking for a greedy and ridiculous $30 per device from every device Samsung sells. So Apple shouldn't be so shocked at such dispicable requests.
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 09:08 AM   #25
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I have a hard time believing the Judge didn't get dismisssed. Regardless if Apple is right or wrong in this case. A judge can not publicly state that a defendant is guilty, before the trial has even started.
Then you'll be happy to know that the judge didn't did that, do you?
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