Apple Files Formal Complaint Over Monitor Fees in E-Book Antitrust Case

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Back in July, Apple was found guilty of conspiring to raise the retail price of e-books, following a lawsuit brought by the United States Department of Justice.

    As part 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.

    Michael Bromwich, a former U.S. Justice Department inspector general, was appointed to the position and is apparently charging exorbitant fees that Apple is unhappy with (via Bloomberg). The company has filed a formal objection against Bromwich, who has proposed an hourly fee of $1,100 along with a 15 percent administrative fee and an additional cost for hiring extra lawyers to assist him.
    Following two weeks of work, Bromwich sent Apple an invoice of $138,432, which Apple described as "unprecedented in Apple's experience." Apple has also filed other complaints against Bromwich, suggesting that he is overstepping his bounds by demanding interviews with Apple employees like CEO Tim Cook and lead designer Jony Ive.

    In a letter to Tim Cook and Apple's board, Bromwich noted that he had experienced "a surprising and disappointing lack of cooperation from Apple and its executives" and suggested that Apple had no say in what it pays for external monitoring.
    According to Apple, both Bromwich's suggested compensation and his attempts to contact Apple board members and senior executives directly are inappropriate, and the company asks that the court issue an order directing Bromwich to limit his monitorship.

    Article Link: Apple Files Formal Complaint Over Monitor Fees in E-Book Antitrust Case
  2. DarkWinter macrumors member

    Feb 29, 2012
    I'd like to hear the justification for requesting an interview with Ive given the subject matter.
  3. Alphabetize macrumors 6502


    Oct 6, 2013
    $1,100 an hour, and his assistant gets $1,025 an hour? Geez.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    What does Apple pay it's lawyers who work on the case against Samsung. I doubt Apple hires the $80 per hour guy for cases it cares about.
  5. Brandon263 macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2009
    Beaumont, CA
    The fees do seem a bit exorbitant, but I think the overall requirement is justified considering what Apple did with the publishers.
  6. philr5150 macrumors regular

    Nov 9, 2010
    Lincoln, NE
    "As part 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."

    Is it anti-trust relating only to E-Books or anti-trust on anything? If it's anything that Apple produces, I can understand them wanting to talk to Ive, otherwise I don't see how he'd have anything to do with it.

    What's the feeling of the community, do people think Apple really did try to hike prices unfairly?
  7. brianbobcat macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2003
    I don't have any history with antitrust cases, or have any legal knowledge. Hire me for a mere $500 an hour and I'll hire an "assistant" lawyer at $550 an hour. It's a win-win for everyone!!
  8. GadgetDon macrumors 6502


    May 11, 2002
    First, the fact that he says he has no experience in anti-trust makes me wonder, WTF was he doing being placed in that position? Why not give the monitoring job to the guy he's hiring to actually DO HIS JOB.

    Second, the guy has one area of authority. The Anti-trust behavior regarding the ebooks. The judge admitted that neither MFN nor agency model are inherently restraint of trade, so he can't use the idea of "but you use the agency model elsewhere" to expand his authority. John Ivy is involved in the design of the hardware and, most recently, the software. He has NOTHING to do with the agreements reached with content providers or suppliers or retailers or anyone.

    Third, according to another article, not only is this guy insisting on interviewing top management at his leisure, he's insisting on interviewing them without any of Apple's lawyers present. Damn straight Tim Cook doesn't want an interview under those terms, he's got an IQ over 50 and he knows that's insane. This guy is also insisting on the ability to report to the judge without any representatives from Apple being present.
  9. jayducharme macrumors 68040


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    Perhaps Bromwich wants to line himself up a job when this one is over and will regale Ive with some of his design ideas.
  10. Parasprite macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2013
    I'm wondering what this article would look like if it was written on an anti-Apple site. I'm not saying that it's biased, in fact I doubt it is. Just that there's something deeply...satirical about it...but I can't put my finger on what.

    Am I still sleeping? :confused:
  11. gatearray macrumors 65816

    Apr 24, 2010
    So why not charge $2,000 an hour? :)

    These days, top lawyers in NYC seem to earn about $800/hr, so where does this guy get off billing $1,100? Oh that's right, he was appointed to this position by the judge who probably is a friend of his and Apple has deep pockets so he gets carte blanche with the bill.
  12. jonAppleSeed macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2013
  13. robbyx Suspended

    Oct 18, 2005
    Amerika at work. Punish the successful. Over regulate. And by all means, when you're part of the government, the new, untouchable political class, charge whatever you want for your middling skills.
  14. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I'd file an anti-trust suit against this guy - it's a monopoly when Apple is forced to use this guy rather than choose their own!
  15. Jnesbitt82 macrumors 6502


    Oct 21, 2013
    Don't worry, it's just the turkey in your system. My family is walking around like a bunch of zombies today. :)
  16. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    So the money should go to the lawyers instead of the consumers harmed by Apple? That's a bit like saying you should be punished but only to the government and not the people.

    On a side note, it's stupid that Apple executives have to meet with him. Most of them are engineers and meet with large groups daily as there is a lot lf oversight the executives have to do. It's silly, he should only monitor when the executives meet with book publishers.
  17. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2011
    Lucky Country
  18. fredaroony macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    lol the irony...Apple complaining about overcharging
  19. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Michael Bromwich was U.S. Justice Department inspector general. $1K/hr is what the top lawyers in the US charge. I'd bet Apple pays some of their own law firms this much.
  20. Jimmy James macrumors 601

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008
    Yes, perhaps just a BIT. Over $200k/month (at fill time equivalent) for a guy who lacks directly relevant experience, to the point that he can't do the job unassisted.
  21. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    Can someone mhelp me understand this correctly. I read two things here. It states Bromwich was appointed by the courts, but I also read that Apple was order to hire an external compliance monitor. Is this the same person or two different people? One by the courts and one by Apple?
  22. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2012
    B'more or Less
    "Michael Bromwich, a former U.S. Justice Department inspector general, was appointed to the position[...]"

    Appointed to the position but sounds utterly flaky, seriously, this sounds so corrupt.
  23. Kenn Marks macrumors regular

    Kenn Marks

    Dec 22, 2005
    It's Called Capitalism

    Apple is not selling 500,000 iPhone 5s' per day because it's overcharging. In capitalism, it has to do with supply and demand. No one is forcing all those people to pay Apple's price like Apple is being forced by the judicial system to pay.


    According to his Law Firm's Bio - Goodwin Proctor, it seems as if he has the qualifications to be the monitor. Now that he is a partner in the firm, he's not taking home all that billing revenue it's going into the corporate general fund and as in all law firms when it comes to bonuses it's tied to billing percentage.
  24. fredaroony macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    How many iPhone 5C's are they selling a day?
  25. furi0usbee macrumors 68000


    Jul 11, 2008
    Ok Mark Levin. I hear ya loud and clear!

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