Apple Wins Brief Stay of External Monitoring in E-Books Antitrust Case

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #1
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    The ongoing dispute over external compliance monitoring of Apple in the e-books antitrust case has taken another turn today, with a federal appeals court granting Apple a brief reprieve from monitoring as it considers the possibility of a longer stay as Apple appeals the original decision, reports Reuters.
    Last November, Apple filed a formal complaint regarding Bromwich, alleging significant overreach and exorbitant fees. In response, Bromwich, who has no significant previous antitrust experience and whose ties to Judge Denise Cote have been questioned, claimed that Apple was hindering his investigations.

    Apple formally requested removal of Bromwich earlier this month, but Cote declined to do so, arguing that "Apple's reaction to the existence of a monitorship underscores the wisdom of its imposition."

    Apple is continuing to pursue an appeal of the original decision, and the appeals court will ultimately decide whether the monitoring by Bromwich should be put on hold while that appeal is heard.

    Article Link: Apple Wins Brief Stay of External Monitoring in E-Books Antitrust Case
     
  2. macrumors member

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    #2
    It is about time for the tide to turn on this case!
     
  3. macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #3
    It's a conflict of interest for the judge to hire an unqualified friend.
     
  4. macrumors regular

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    Dec 30, 2008
    #4
    Well, you'll note it was out of Cote's hands at this point. Everything up to this point has been all Judge Cote. Who, really, is on the defensive, though thats not how many news media's present it.

    Her conduct and link to Bromwich is a very big deal and has the potential of pulling her from the bench.

    I honestly don't think Apple would have kept pushing unless they thought they had something to that effect. They just needed to hold out long enough to get it into the Appeals Court. I often wonder if thats what Cote meant when she "supposedly" told Bromwich to hurry up and get in there, that he wouldn't have much time.

    Anyway, we'll see I guess. All bets are off at this point I think. Depends on what kind of hand Apple really has.. we should now in the next few weeks/months.

    Now the real pop-corn, head turning, begins. I want extra butter on mine. ;)
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Finally– A sane decision from the court. I won't hold my breath for the next one.
     
  6. macrumors member

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    #6
    I completely agree that it being out of her hands is why the tide has turned. It was such a sham on all accounts and the monitoring stuff has been a fiasco. Hopefully we see more sanity injected into this process as we move forward.
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    Orlandoech

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    Salt Lake City, UT
    #7
    In the end... I still hope Apple gets fined "One million dollars muhahahaha".

    "Dr Evil, one million dollars isn't a lot of money these days". :rolleyes:
     
  8. JAT
    macrumors 603

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    #8
    So, what, Bromwich just sits in a hotel for a while?
     
  9. macrumors member

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    #9
    If nothing else, he cannot bill Apple $1100 an hour for the remainder of this week. :D
     
  10. macrumors demi-god

    firedept

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    #10
    This is a good decision. It is clearly a conflict to put someone who has no antitrust experience into a position of overseeing such a large decision by the courts. Especially a friend of the judge who handed down that decision.
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    Cuban Missles

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    #11
    I really never understood why Apple was guilty of price fixing. And this whole business with this guy is really beyond me. I do hope that in appeals things get sorted out better. The idea of going back to Amazon setting the price for books just does not sound right (I know that is not exactly what was decided, but in essence the judge said that Apple was guilty of colluding in breaking the Amazon model and that in doing so that was a bad thing).
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Nevaborn

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    #12
    I think a digital book can be worth more than a printed one. It won't age or get damaged and it can have possibly audio and animated Illustrations. A book can come to like and give depth.

    I can't say if Apple was right or wrong but I do know that a judge appointing an unqualified friend is unethical and enough to discredit a judge. The ruling should be thrown out.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    japanime

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    Japan
    #13
    As a book publisher, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Rather than focus only on Apple, the court needs to look at the bigger picture and delve into Amazon's ebook pricing tactics as well.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    #14
    If someone is guilty of price fixing, it's Amazon. They had set the price artificially low in an attempt to kill the competitors, control the market, and inadvertently harm publishers. I'm not for higher prices, but the market should determine those prices, not one seller. What Apple did was get together with publishers and said, 'hey, why don't you set the price of the book and if no one buys it, you'll have to lower prices'. This is how the economy is supposed to work. The government, and many citizens, only care when price fixing raises prices. Keeping a price artificially low hurts the very businesses whose product you want. While it may not hurt the big authors, it can really hurt smaller authors and prevent new authors from ever getting published. The publishers get the prophet but they also assume all the risk.
     
  15. macrumors G3

    charlituna

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    #15
    Biased comments before trial started (and apparently not the first time she has done that regarding apple) as well

    I remember seeing the coverage of the whole thing and then noticing that her opinion seemed to ignore all testimony that supported that the DOJ timeline was wrong.

    Happy to see the courts giving this a needed review.

    ----------

    Yes they are appealing the whole thing but right now I suspect they want a leash on this guy. Control who he talks to and how (ie no demanding disruptions to work, no denying a lawyer), and the fees. If he wants to consult with a lawyer fine. But bringing in a huge team and sticking Apple with the bill, not cool

    ----------

    I'll back that. All forms of media could do with some limits across the board. Dump the ability to have exclusive deals that keep items on only one service for long periods, set upper price limits so we are paying $50 for a digital version that is half the quality and no features on something that sells on disk for $30 etc.

    But the key is rules for all players
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Erm..yeah and that's illegal champ...
     
  17. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

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    #17
    Which is no problem, because it's also not what happened.
     
  18. macrumors 68030

    macs4nw

    #18
    I for one certainly hope that Apple will be at least partially successful with their appeal of the original decision, as their punishment seemed heavy-handed, and way out of proportion to the "crime" committed.

    Removing the unqualified and excessively expensive Bromwich from his position as monitor would be a good first step.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

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    Ireland
    #19
    What do you call an economy where companies collude to set the price of products? Doesn't sound like capitalism. They should be competing with each other.
     
  20. macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #20
    In what way do you consider that illegal? It appears to me to be a description of agency pricing which Judge Cote confirmed as a legal.

    ----------

    The publishers didn't collude to set the price of products. In fact they all offered different products at different prices.
     
  21. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

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    #21
    It would be rare that two book publishers (or two record companies for that matter) can offer the same product.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

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    Jul 22, 2009
    #22
    Apple didn't attempt to raise prices. What they did was come up with a system that allowed publishers to set their own prices rather than be held hostage by Amazon.

    Keeping prices artificially low can be as bad or worse than keeping them high. Look at what happened in Venezuela when they tried it.

    ----------

    What they did wasn't illegal. They didn't set a price or try to keep a price high. Nothing they did was to raise a price. Higher prices on ebooks don't help Apple attract customers. The only 'crime' Apple committed was trying to break up Amazon's monopoly over ebooks, champ...

    ----------

    Too many people, including judges and politicians, think lower prices is always best for the American people. If the price gets too low, there isn't enough money left over to pay your people and develop new products.

    It's like the fallacy that we should always look out for the little guy. But really, sometimes the little guy is wrong.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    albusseverus

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    #23
    You'll notice here that the federal appeals court is behaving lawfully. Cote and the Justice Department are out on a limb here, and this is a sign that the court system is going to come down hard on them.

    I refer you to Alex Lindsay's comments on MacBreak Weekly this week - nepotism, perjury, and serious consequences.

    Cote could end up in jail or at least never work as a judge again.

    Sadly, whereas you or I would end up in jail, Cote being of the ruling class, will probably get a nice pension, early retirement, and the Justice Department will drop its action against Apple.

    No real repercussions for the "legal system's" illegal behaviour. It's all just part of a DEAL, for those in the right club.

    Good for Apple, but bad for the public good, and those charged with administering the law, will once again demonstrate that they are above the law.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    #24
    Is this correct? My recollection is that kind of an idiotic argument was made by the justice department lawyers mocking Apple. The judge was bring passive aggressive and paternalistic stating 'I think this monitoring is good for Apple. I want this monitoring to be successful for Apple'.
     
  25. macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    上海 (Shanghai)
    #25
    If you want my unprofessional opinion, both Bromwich and Cote need to be reprimanded for unprofessional conduct and perhaps be debarred.
     

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