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The tech giant said Bromwich could interfere with Apple's ability to create new products

Apple isn't happy about being babysat by a monitor after conspiring to raise e-book prices last year, so it's seeking a halt to the monitor's activites while it prepares a formal appeal.

According to Reuters, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York told Apple on Tuesday that it would allow the company a hearing on whether the monitor -- Michael Bromwich -- should put his duties on hold until Apple is ready with a formal appeal. A three-judge panel is scheduled to conduct the hearing for a stay pending appeal "as soon as possible."

Bromwich was sent to Apple as a monitor due to a court ruling last July that found Apple guilty of conspiring to raise e-book prices. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote handed down the ruling, saying that consumers and competitors were negatively affected by the arrangement Apple had with five book publishers. The publishers were Hachette Livre (Lagardère Publishing France), Harper Collins (News Corp., U.S.A.), Simon & Schuster (CBS Corp., U.S.A.), Penguin (Pearson Group, United Kingdom) and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holzbrinck (owner of inter alia Macmillan, Germany).

Michael Bromwich [SOURCE: The New York Times]

Judge Cote suggested that an external monitor be used to review Apple's internal antitrust compliance program and recommend any changes a month after the July 2013 ruling. 

However, Apple is trying to fight off Bromwich's watchful eye. The tech giant said Bromwich is too "intrusive" and could interfere with Apple's ability to create new products. It also said that Bromwich is charging Apple far too much for his services -- about $1,100 per hour to be exact. 

"The monitorship should never have been imposed in the first place, and the burden and intrusion the monitor is imposing on Apple cannot be remedied after the fact if the company prevails on appeal," said Apple. 

However, Judge Cote sees Apple's complaints the way a parent sees their child when they cry after doing something wrong and is being punished. In other words, Apple is mad that it was caught acting out-of-line, and doesn't want to pay the consequences. 

"If anything, Apple's reaction to the existence of a monitorship underscores the wisdom of its imposition," said Judge Cote.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has until January 24 to file opposition papers, if it so chooses. 

Source: Reuters

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2.2 million dollars a year?!
By eagle470 on 1/22/2014 11:26:17 AM , Rating: 2
It also said that Bromwich is charging Apple far too much for his services -- about $1,100 per hour to be exact.

Tell me that doesn't seem excessive to you.

RE: 2.2 million dollars a year?!
By Motoman on 1/22/2014 11:30:08 AM , Rating: 3
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess this isn't a 40 hr/week job.

I would assume he's doing spot checks on them once in a while...and he probably charges something like $5000 a day and then actually does all he needs to do that visit in half a day...which would work out to about $1,100 an hour. For what's probably a once-a-month visit.

RE: 2.2 million dollars a year?!
By Shadowself on 1/22/2014 11:57:05 AM , Rating: 2
If you look at the filings, he's charging a LOT more than a few hours a week -- a LOT.

And as I mention in another post, he's charging Apple for other lawyers' time too as he has no understanding of anti trust law (and thus hired others for support and is charging Apple for it).

RE: 2.2 million dollars a year?!
By Motoman on 1/22/2014 12:00:56 PM , Rating: 4
So you're saying he's vastly overcharging for a product that isn't even that great?

Huh. Nope, can't see how that would be appropriate for Apple at all.

RE: 2.2 million dollars a year?!
By Shadowself on 1/22/2014 12:13:12 PM , Rating: 2
In the case of Apple's products (as you imply) you can either chose to buy Apple's products and pay the "Apple Tax" or not. Most of us chose not to buy Apple's products or services.

In the case of past compliance monitors (e.g., the Microsoft case) there is either a panel of monitors (say three, one chosen by the court, one chosen by the company and one chosen by mutual agreement and the panel by mutual agreement makes reports and recommendations to the court) or just one monitor that is mutually agreed upon by the court, the DOJ and the company.

In this case the judge choose an old friend of hers that had zero knowledge in this area. The judge is purely finding work for an old friend at inflated rates.

As far as this judge is concerned, Apple must "buy" this guy's services (and his required support because he personally knows nothing about what he's supposed to do) whether Apple wants to or not.

It would be like a judge telling you that you must ONLY buy Apple computers, devices and services for the next five years. I'm sure you'd scream at that too!

RE: 2.2 million dollars a year?!
By Motoman on 1/22/2014 1:11:41 PM , Rating: 3
Meh. Karma's a b1tch.

By retrospooty on 1/22/2014 2:36:59 PM , Rating: 4
"It would be like a judge telling you that you must ONLY buy Apple computers, devices and services for the next five years. I'm sure you'd scream at that too"

No, it isn't... Apple conspired to fix prices and were found guilty . This is a penalty. You don't get to choose your own auditor. The reason Apple got a court appointed auditor is because the judge felt that Apple couldn't be trusted to police themselves and couldn't be trusted to hire their own auditors. The judge was VERY clear about this when the trial ended - based on the defiant way Apple handled the case and their attitude toward the decisions the judge felt that a court appointed auditor was the only option.

As far as who was appointed - the juedge put someone they know and trust to keep Apple from "pulling strings" and getting the results it wanted. Nice job if you ask me. More judges should do this. This judge needs to teach judge Koh a thing or two - or ten.

RE: 2.2 million dollars a year?!
By Ktracho on 1/22/2014 7:58:25 PM , Rating: 4
Apple had ample opportunity to come up with terms that would satisfy the judge. For example, they could have suggested using a different monitor other than this guy. Instead, Apple simply told the judge they didn't want any monitor at all. They very well knew they could get stuck with paying lots of money to a court-apponted monitor, but they preferred to take the risk, rather than suggest terms that had a chance of being accepted by the judge. They're grown ups; they need to live by the consequences of their actions.

By evo slevven on 1/23/2014 2:57:27 AM , Rating: 2
Actually having someone who knows zilch is actually useful in this types of situations. Individuals typically underscore the fact that if someone has a background in it they typically will have a bias toward their understanding of how a situation should be interpreted.

Once you're forced, however, to work with someone who doesn't have an extensive background you do end up having to really explain it all and it does do its job in ensuring questions, concerns or any other issues are both raised and answered.

More stuff in life should do this: can you imagine if everyone politician who's a senator, representative or in the white house just retired and had to be replaced? Lobbyist would be in a sh*thole loosing their connections and new members of congress would actually have to read, learn and understand what each new bill proposal entails.

Frankly you can't exactly whine about being caught and thereby being forced to do something because of it.

RE: 2.2 million dollars a year?!
By ritualm on 1/22/2014 7:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
What makes you think the auditor will make Apple poorer? A couple million dollars is like a couple hours' worth of sales to Cupertino. It can EASILY pay a $10K/hour consultant.

It's just stonewalling and insisting its "innocence", even after everyone knew it engaged in anti-competitive collusion and price-fixing with the publishers.

Quit being a diehard Apple apologist.

RE: 2.2 million dollars a year?!
By bug77 on 1/22/2014 11:39:57 AM , Rating: 3
How much would you charge for supervising/monitoring a company the size of Apple?

And no, I'm not telling you it doesn't seem excessive, I'm just admitting I don't know what's a reasonable number in this context.

RE: 2.2 million dollars a year?!
By Shadowself on 1/22/14, Rating: 0
RE: 2.2 million dollars a year?!
By retrospooty on 1/22/2014 12:53:31 PM , Rating: 2
What is your point? Lawyers are expensive? I think we all know that. Apple knows all about lawyers as it spends its time in court pulling strings. The cost of the lawyer is far less than the profit they planned to make from their illegal price fixing. They should be punished FAR more then they are. Apple should be thankful that is all they got.

RE: 2.2 million dollars a year?!
By Shadowself on 1/22/14, Rating: -1
By retrospooty on 1/22/2014 2:55:48 PM , Rating: 2
"Apple was convicted of collusion, not price fixing."

Same difference. Same effect, same goal. The point is they were found guilty and this is a penalty.

"Why should ANY company [even Apple] pay outrageous fees for a personal friend of the judge who has zero experience or knowledge in the legal area involved especially if that personal friend is doing investigations that are contrary to the written rulings of the court"

You have a good point there, I don't disagree. I do strongly agree with an independent auditor though.

RE: 2.2 million dollars a year?!
By rs1 on 1/22/2014 6:29:57 PM , Rating: 3
So what? Apple is being punished .

I don't think anyone is saying that the guy is charging a reasonable amount for his services. But it is entirely reasonable and fair that Apple should have to pay whatever absurd amount the guy wants to charge.

If Apple had not broken the law in the first place, they'd not have to pay this guy one cent.

Besides which, $2.2 million/year is probably less than what the company pays its executives. And it's certainly not more than what the company can afford. Apple should just shut up, at least pretend that it's learned its lesson, and move on.

RE: 2.2 million dollars a year?!
By Nekrik on 1/22/2014 11:49:13 AM , Rating: 2
maybe seems excessive, but not out of the ordinary. Compare it to the billable hours of any one of Apple's attorneys and it most likely won't seem so bad.

RE: 2.2 million dollars a year?!
By Morawka on 1/22/2014 6:31:50 PM , Rating: 2
That's nothing, Apple spent 6 million just on the Glass outside of New York's Apple Store. That's not even counting the glass in the store, this is just the entrance.

apple should not be complaining about 2 million being expensive, when it charges over $929 for a iPad with 128GB of memory

By amanojaku on 1/22/2014 11:51:18 AM , Rating: 3
Apple has complained that Bromwich has been too intrusive, including by seeking interviews with top executives and board members

"The monitorship should never have been imposed in the first place"
The company obviously broke the law in colluding with publishers to hurt competitors, single-handedly reshaped the entire ebooks business model resulting in increased prices, and yet Apple still feels it is the victim. I don't know how the investigation got started, but thank god Steve Jobs was arrogant enough to keep a copy of the email that incriminated him.

RE: Seriously?
By Shadowself on 1/22/2014 12:05:10 PM , Rating: 1
If Apple's filings are to be believed he's demanding time to interview senior executives and board members who never had and still don't have anything to do with anything at all related to this case. He's demanding interviews and asking questions that are completely unrelated to anything associated with Apple's online book store. (Hey, you're working on contracts for resellers on your new iWatch, iTV or whatever. Tell me what you're discussing in those contract negotiations.)

If Apple's filings are to be believed he's purely on a fishing expedition for the DOJ -- and he's requiring Apple to pay for this fishing expedition both in dollars and senior executive's time.

If this is true (and the Appeals Court will decide if it is or not) then it really is improper for the DOJ to utilize the court appointed monitor to do a new investigation. If the DOJ wants to launch a new investigation of Apple, then the DOJ should do it on its own. The DOJ should not use the court appointed monitor to do it for them.

RE: Seriously?
By amanojaku on 1/22/2014 12:21:09 PM , Rating: 5
I read the court filings, as well. At the moment, it's something of a he-said-she-said. I'm more inclined to believe Bromwich's filing, as it is quite detailed and extremely believable.

No, Bromwich does not have anti-trust experience, but he does have experience as an auditor of large organizations. And it's not uncommon for a legal team to be made of up multiple members, each of whom has a specific skill set. He brings auditing and managerial experience, the 3rd part brings the anti-trust experience.

It is also clear that Apple is giving him the runaround. It's possible that his requests are escalating in response to that. Since the audit is of a limited duration, he's well aware that Apple could just stonewall him until he's required to leave. Additionally, fees, 3rd parties, etc... were all brought up BEFORE he started working with Apple. The company is crying foul now, when it should have said something back in October before this all started.

RE: Seriously?
By Dorkyman on 1/22/2014 12:21:51 PM , Rating: 1
Why doesn't Obama just use the NSA to monitor the internal discussions like they do elsewhere?

Seriously, this little irritant will go away soon. Obama loves Apple and his thoroughly-corrupt Department of "Justice" will follow through.

RE: Seriously?
By HomerTNachoCheese on 1/22/2014 3:38:26 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously? You had to bring Obama into this? I think Apple is a far cry from being a terrorist organization, so why would the NSA monitor the discussions? Sure, metadata is collected, but that is not monitoring an internal discussion.

Could you not think of a better way to tie your negative views of Obama to this article? Be creative. At least tell us how this lawsuit has something to do with Obama turning this country into a Socialist government. Make it interesting. Then you get more responses, and we give the trolls something to bite on.

Trolls gotta eat. Not saying you are one - perhaps I am. Who knows, as that statement is a little ambiguous. Man I'm hungry.

RE: Seriously?
By HomerTNachoCheese on 1/22/2014 3:40:56 PM , Rating: 2
Also, I accidentally hit "worth reading" and could not undo my selection. So, why not post a half-wit response to remove all my selections? Maybe I hit a new low - perhaps in my post rating.

RE: Seriously?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/22/2014 9:30:31 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously? You had to bring Obama into this?


Obama already made one severely suspicious pro-Apple ruling.

RE: Seriously?
By croc on 1/22/2014 8:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
I'm starting a new 'law' similar to Godwin's Law. I'm calling it the Croc O'Sh!t law... It states that for any set of posts about any type of US law, within x number of posts someone will bring up the current / past prez to try to make an invalid point.

RE: Seriously?
By ven1ger on 1/22/2014 1:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
Well, since Apple can petition the court, it is up to the court to decide if the monitor is being too excessive in both his reimbursement for his time and other expenses and if he is overstepping himself. Anything else is still speculation from the spectators.

Though considering the size of Apple, I don't think the court will find that the amount being charged or the oversight of the monitor being burdensome. Apple had a chance to settle, they didn't, court may be using this as a lesson to Apple and any others that sometimes it is easier better to reach a settlement than wasting the courts time.

By Motoman on 1/22/2014 11:16:03 AM , Rating: 5
Apple: Hey, you need to get this monitor guy out of here.

Court: Why?

Apple: He's paying too much attention to what we're doing.

Court: ...

RE: *wah*
By retrospooty on 1/22/2014 12:30:25 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, live by the court, die by the court. Kharma's a beeotch isn't it Apple? LOL

Hey Apple!
By jbwhite99 on 1/22/2014 3:29:29 PM , Rating: 2
I'll do the monitor work for you. I'll be happy to reject your products, and I'll only charge you $500 per hour.

RE: Hey Apple!
By Motoman on 1/23/2014 12:42:47 PM , Rating: 2
Screw that. For $2,000 an hour I'll be your monitor and let you do whatever the f%ck you want to do.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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