Court Denies Apple's Request to Remove Compliance Monitor in E-Book Antitrust Case

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    U.S. District Judge Denise Cote today denied Apple's attempts to thwart its antitrust monitorship, reports Reuters. Apple had asked the court for both a stay on the original order requiring an external compliance monitor (due to a pending appeal) and the removal of Michael Bromwich, the attorney appointed to serve as the company's monitor. Both requests were denied.
    Apple and appointed antitrust compliance monitor Bromwich have ongoing disagreements since November, when Apple filed a formal complaint over Bromwich's fees in the case, which amounted to $138,432 over a two week period. The company also complained that Bromwich was overstepping his bounds by demanding lawyer-less meetings with key Apple executives and board members.

    Bromwich, for his part, claimed that he experienced "a surprising and disappointing lack of cooperation from Apple and its executives", filing a complaint against the company in late December. Apple responded by requesting his removal last week, stating that Bromwich had a personal bias against the company.

    Earlier today, the Department of Justice condemned Apple's actions, stating Apple had "chosen a campaign of character assassination over a culture of compliance" and suggested that Bromwich was open to negotiating with Apple on the original fee dispute.

    Judge Cote plans to issue a decision explaining her reasoning on the denial in the near future, at which point Apple will have 48 hours to request an emergency stay from the federal appeals court in New York.

    Apple was originally found guilty of conspiring with publishers to raise the retail price of e-books in July. As part of its punishment, the company was forced to hire an external compliance monitor to ensure that it complies with antitrust requirements in the future.

    Article Link: Court Denies Apple's Request to Remove Compliance Monitor in E-Book Antitrust Case
  2. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    The judge shouldn't be allowed to pick her friends. It should be a reputable party who has no relation to the judge at all.
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I can understand denying the request to get rid of the monitor entirely, given that they were found guilty, but the simple fact that this monitor had to bring in an outside expert who gets paid as much as he does to do the job he was expressly hired to do should have disqualified him from being appointed in the first place, and I can't honestly see how it's anything but a favor by the judge.

    I mean, really, if you were sent to a repair guy to get your car fixed, and the repair guy handed it off to an "expert in repairing cars" because he was actually an appliance repairman, then billed for both his and the expert's time, you'd say that the repair guy was incompetent and should never have been given the work in the first place.

    How is this any different? Because lawyers are special flowers who get to take work they don't know how to do and bill fabulous amounts of money for hiring outside help to do the work?
  4. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    Lets see what she writes in her explanation. And then lets see how long it takes for Apple to file for an emergency stay. My guess is that it is all ready to go and just waiting for her to file her explanation. Apple will fight hard to keep anyone who doesn't belong out of their secrets.
  5. parkds macrumors regular

    Jan 23, 2003
    I don't even begin to understand why the court would be unwilling to assign a new monitor. Why does it matter who the monitor is, if there isn't something shady going on.

    It is very apparent that there most likely is a conflict of personality between the current monitor and Apple and that both parties feel like it is impeding their ability to get work accomplished. Seems simple, change out the monitor. If the monitor is doing what they are assigned to do why does it matter who the monitor is.

    This seems to be a very odd response especially in light of the fact that the monitor (Bromwich) is an old friend of the judge on the case (Cote).
  6. AnalyzeThis macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2007
    Wow, a convicted felon shown his place, yet again. Really hard to imagine, very unpredictable. LOL

    BTW, all these regurgitation of old friend of judge is just "Apple" propaganda. If you smart you would see this lie through...
  7. thaifood macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2011
    You are pretty naive to think a lot of government assigned contracts aren't awarded as favours or to help out colleagues.

    Same thing happens in Australia. New construction contracts, or planning and architecture etc from government is usually assigned to people with no more than 1 or 2 degrees of separation from the person signing off on the deal.
  8. macsimcon macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2008
    Did anyone here actually read Bromwich's declaration?

    He gave Apple many, many chances to do the right thing, and his qualifications are substantial:

    If even half of his statements are true, Apple is acting like a bunch of spoiled brats who got caught and are mad that they are being punished.

    It's business! Do what the monitor asks and move on! You've got awesome products to build, don't waste your angst on one loss, especially when most of the time you win. Most companies don't get to win that often, mainly because they suck.
  9. springsup macrumors 6502a


    Feb 14, 2013
    From the WSJ.

    Must have been a different Judge Denise Cote :rolleyes:
  10. mejsric macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2013
    Im the repair guy. Im handed you to an expert of repairing which is my best friend. He will be charge you $1000/hr and you cant change that. You cant hire anybody. Only my friend.
  11. Mak47 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2011
    Harrisburg, PA
    I laughed very hard at the whole line about "fostering a culture of compliance".

    Let's face it, that's what this is all about. Apple has never played by the same 'rules' that other big business play by. Minimal lobbying, no massive corporate PAC money, not rolling over and playing dead about the whole tax scheme thing a few months back, etc.

    This is about forcing Apple to conform and demonstrating the government's ability to force it's will on anyone--even the most successful company in the US.

    If I were in Tim Cook's shoes, I would kick the guy out of the building and dare the court to take further action. They've done nothing wrong. Their actions were not criminal, and even if they were (by some imaginative stretch) the 'ebooks market' is not large or vital enough for antitrust law to really even be a consideration.

    I'm proud of them for standing up to this and I hope they continue.
  12. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Right, except don't forget that you are also going to charge for your own time in addition to your friend's time, so it's doubly insulting.
  13. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Exactly. As much as Iove Apple products, their acts of entitlement and invincibility is disgusting.
  14. Makosuke, Jan 13, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014

    Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    First, I don't think the antitrust violation Apple was convicted of wasn't a felony offense, so that's a bit overboard.

    Regardless, it's the Wall Street Journal making the claims about Cote being friendly with the monitor, not Apple. I don't actually put much stock in what the WSJ says, personally, but they're not exactly a mudslinging tabloid. And regardless, the point remains that Bromwich had to hire an expert in antitrust monitoring to do exactly what he had been appointed to do--monitor a company for antitrust violation. If he knew what he was doing, why did he have to hire an outside expert? Why not just appoint that outside expert in the first place and bypass the middle man? After all, apparently Bromwich had to rely on the expert to figure out what to do anyway.

    I'm not even saying Apple should be let off the hook for monitoring, even though I think going after Apple when Amazon is clearly the company pursuing a monopoly in ebooks is a little off-base. Of course companies don't like being monitored for violating antitrust laws. If they liked it, it would be beside the point.

    But if you aren't appointing a competent monitor, something is wrong.
  15. Glideslope macrumors 601


    Dec 7, 2007
    Cote should be removed from the bench. Some day, for some reason she will be. Just not here. :apple:
  16. lesferdinand macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2013
    The ridiculousness of this whole suit is that the Department of Justice is effectively helping Amazon to destroy competition through predatory pricing.

    Last time I checked, the goal of antitrust regulations was to promote competition and support consumers' long term interests. I guess Amazon spends a whole lot more lobbying money in Washington.
  17. itr81 macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2010
    The judge could have just put another monitor in place. Just seems odd if both the client and monitor are at arms with each other.
    I have feeling apple will fight them until the end.
  18. zelman macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2004
    What if apple just pays him minimum wage? It's not like he has their checkbook.
  19. Leddy macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2008
    This Salon article sums it up nicely:

    If Apple conspired to raise prices, why did they actually fall?
  20. MacGuffin macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2006
    This is far, far too reasonable a post for this clubhouse of fetishists. No wonder you're a lone voice on this one.

    It isn't hard at all to imagine the spoiled brat scenario. Only look at past and present history. Here sits Apple: convicted, yes, but also notoriously avoiding US taxes, hoarding shareholder wealth and exploiting slave labor rather than employing its own nationals at living wages.

    Does this sound like a company that would accept its punishment or one that thinks legality and ethics are trifles it can buy and/or bully its way past? And lo, it learns, to its fury, that the court is no half-witted fanboy...
  21. Swift macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    Los Angeles
  22. patent10021 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2004
    what's wrong with the Apple thunderbolt monitor? :p
  23. viktormadarasz macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2010
    Just one remark. People always seem to forgot that Apple is not the only one whose products are coming out from Foxconn (Dell, Cisco, HP just to mention a few) They neither employ workers back in their country, But take just my example even where I work I am in an outsourced department within the company ( company is british and We work for them from Spain) Is it the company´s fault, is it my fault, is it anyones fault at all?

    Company´s exist to make profit before product and none of them is an exception..its not a samaritan case they do this for money which I understand

    What I dont get why we see all the mistakes in Apple and not in the rest of the tech giants? they are just as ,,greeedy¨:)

    Whatever I like my greedy apple still :)


  24. albusseverus macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2007
    Some sense at last.

    This is all politics. Amazon gets the the only seat at the table, for playing the game - taking control of the Washington Post, massive and growing CIA data contracts, not to mention lobbying like there's no tomorrow.

    Apple does not play this game, and the powers that be, see a Jobs-less Apple as ripe for the pickings:
    • Wall St, Ican etc - siphoning cash out of the company
    • NSA only got Apple to sign up for Prism after Steve passed away
    • with the departure of Bob Mansfield, deep control over Apple Technologies is now in the hands of former Adobe CTO and Flash evangelist, Kevin Lynch who brought you, Adobe Insight intelligence monitoring using Omniture "Ad Tracking" from their data centre, right next to the NSA data centre in Utah… and Flash, the most 'accidentally' insecure software on the planet

    and clearly the White House is looking for more "lobbying" from Apple, as confirmed by The Justice Department's conduct of this "legal action":
    • not replacing a Judge who declared Apple guilty before the case commenced
    • not replacing a compliance monitor with insufficient qualifications for the job
    • not replacing the compliance monitor when he commenced his action prior to commencement of the monitoring
    • not replacing the compliance monitor when he stepped outside the declared role, on the basis of (illegal) private discussions with the judge, no less

    What this under qualified compliance monitor is known for is:
    • issuing permits to drill, despite in his own words, the disturbing attitude of some oil companies, after a bad oil spill (which occurred less than a month after the president expanded off-shore drilling) and
    • making a Lieutenant Colonel take the fall for a President's and the security services' drug running operations

    The whole thing stinks.
  25. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    If even half of what Apple is saying is true, his only goal is to make as much money as possible from this by overreaching into things that are none of his business and trying to create as many billable hours as possible.


    Pretty insulting, your post. Please explain to us in detail where Apple is "exploiting slave labor". Easy to make claims, hard to support them.

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