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Apple's attempt at escaping the consequences has failed

Apple was unsuccessful in getting rid of its external eBooks monitor, but the tech giant was at least able to get him to tone his behavior down a bit (via the court, of course). 
 
According to a new report from Reuters, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said that Apple's external eBooks monitor -- Michael Bromwich -- will not be put on hold as Apple requested. 
 
Bromwich will, however, have to cut back on his methods of monitoring. According to the court, Bromwich is limited to assessing Apple's compliance policies and its efforts to pass those policies along to its workers effectively. This means he cannot investigate whether Apple employees are actually complying with antitrust laws or not. 
 
Last month, Apple said Bromwich is too "intrusive" and could interfere with Apple's ability to create new products, adding that he aggressively sought interviews with top executives and attempted to reach company documents that were outside of his duties. 
 
Apple also said that Bromwich is charging Apple far too much for his services -- about $1,100 per hour to be exact.
 


Michael Bromwich [SOURCE: cir.ca]

The tech company requested a hearing regarding putting Bromwich's duties on hold until Apple is ready with a formal appeal, but it looks like that isn't happening. However, Apple is still preparing a formal appeal, but will have to continue dealing with Bromwich in the meantime. 

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).

Judge Cote sees Apple's complaints as further reason for having the external monitor in place. 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.

Source: Reuters



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RE: Wassamatta Apple?
By tonyswash on 2/11/2014 1:19:37 PM , Rating: -1
I thought Apple got a quite a lot from this judgement. Obviously Apple would like to get rid of the monitoring altogether but what had proved particularly irksome was that Michael Bromwich the court appointed monitor had interpreted his brief, his remit and his powers very, very widely. He felt he had the power and the right to poke about in pretty much any of Apple's business checking up for further anti-trust activities.

In fact he had been appointed with a very narrow brief, which was to make sure that Apple had a programme in place to brief it's senior managers and Board members as what constituted anti-competitive behaviour and check that those managers and board members had actually absorbed the required information. So in essence in order to comply with the monitoring Apple had to create a training programme in what constitutes anti-competitive behaviour, a simple keynote presentation would do I presume with some course notes, and then make sure that senior manager and Board member watch the presentation and learn by rote the right answer for when the monitor tests them. Tedious and fatuous but hardly onerous.

The court strongly insisted on the the narrow interpretation of the monitors brief and from now on Michael Bromwich will be restricted to checking that a training program exists and checking that senior people have learned from it but he is blocked from poking his nose into any part of Apple's business that takes his fancy.

The actual relevant section of the courts decision (which was very short, this excerpt is almost half of it) reads as follows:

quote:
During the argument, it became apparent that the parties differed considerably regarding the proper interpretation of the order as to the scope of the monitor’s duties, particularly with respect to two questions: First, whether the monitor was empowered to demand access to any document, and to interview Apple executives with respect to any subject, without limitation, and without regard  to the relevance of such documents or subjects to the specific purpose of the monitorship. Second, whether the monitor had the authority to investigate new violations of anti-trust laws (or, for that matter, any unlawful conduct), or if the order limited the monitor to determining whether Apple had  instituted appropriate compliance programs and taken steps to ensure that those programs were effectively communicated to Apple’s officers and employees

The government conceded that the injunction would not allow the monitor to investigate whether such personnel were in fact complying with the antitrust or other laws. Thus, according to appellees, the monitor was empowered to demand only documents relevant to his authorized responsibility as so defined, and to interview Apple directors, officers, and  employees only on subjects relevant to that responsibility. We agree with that interpretation of the district court’s order. In addition, we take counsel’s statement as a formal representation that appellees also accept that interpretation, and that the monitor will conduct his activities within the bounds of that order.


RE: Wassamatta Apple?
By retrospooty on 2/11/2014 2:42:23 PM , Rating: 2
Only you would see any of that as a positive. The only positive, is that it doesn't hurt Apple in the long run as they are insanely profitable... But nothing about this was positive, Apple got caught illegally manipulating prices and got smacked down.


RE: Wassamatta Apple?
By tonyswash on 2/11/2014 5:09:56 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
But nothing about this was positive,


Let’s see.

The court appointed monitor arrives at Apple and says he wants to look at everything, all aspects of Apple’s activities, read any document he wants, monitor anything that takes his interest.

Apple says no - you were appointed to oversee just a training program and refuses his requests.

They go to court to resolve the matter.

The court decides that the monitor is just restricted to narrowly overseeing a training program.

Hard to see how that’s a loss for Apple.


RE: Wassamatta Apple?
By retrospooty on 2/11/2014 5:36:49 PM , Rating: 2
I was referring to the illegal price fixing case they lost.


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