Michael Bromwich, appointed by U.S. Judge Denise Cote in the wake of the anti-trust charges leveled against Apple for iBooks deals, is once again under fire in the op ed pages of a prominent publication. This time it's the Wall Street Journal, but the accusation remains the same — that Bromwich abused his role by investigating aspects of the company that have nothing to do with the case, and in the process has billed Apple over $2.65 million for his "services".
Apple's arguments in its appeal for the e-book antitrust case have found sympathetic judicial ears. After having lost the case under U.S. District Judge Denise Cote last year, Apple's appeal to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York seems to be going well, with judges asking questions that seemingly favor Apple's position in the case.
Apple has come to an agreement outside the courts to close an antitrust lawsuit, which alleges the company conspired with publishers to inflate ebook pricing for iPhone and iPad owners. The lawsuit was brought forward by 33 US states and by avoiding the upcoming trial on July 14, Apple has avoided a potential payout of $840 million in damages.
When the U.S. government sued Apple over its entry into the ebooks market there was a fear that the action would result in Amazon, who already enjoyed a dominant market position, increasing their power to potentially abusive levels. So, was that fear justified?
Despite a series of events that would be better suited for a David E. Kelly legal comedy than an actual court of law, Apple is still fighting on in their ebook case, and this time bringing in some economists as backup, namely Bradford Cornell of CalTech and Janusz Ordover of NYU. The goal seems to be to better explain to the court why, according to Apple, they don't understand the market and are getting it all wrong.
Apple on Tuesday filed paperwork with the New York federal court to appeal a 2013 ruling that found the company in violation of antitrust laws regarding its iBooks publishing arrangements with major book publishers.
Apple is once again asking a federal appeals court to grant a stay on the work of court-appointed antitrust monitor, Michael Bromwich. While a temporary reprieve was granted two weeks ago, Apple hopes that the court will put Bromwich's work on hold until its decided whether or not he should have been placed at Apple to begin with
Apple has been temporarily spared the presence of an external antitrust monitor, initially placed at the company as part of the judgment in the U.S. government's case against Apple regarding ebooks. Apple has been fighting to remove the monitor, Michael Bromwich, since he was placed at the company last summer. The company believes that Bromwich is a disruptive and unnecessary imposition, according to Reuters:
Sometimes when there's smoke, there's just smoke. And sometimes there are Kindles full of fire. Following the Wall Street Journal's scathing opinion piece last month, another media outlet is now asking questions about the conduct of the Department of Justice, the judge, and the external monitor. Kathleen Sharp goes so far as to call Amazon's crusade "bogus" in her headline on Slate:
The Wall Street Journal began the year making me wonder if they'd thrown journalistic integrity out the window in an effort to ride the Apple is Doomed train into clickbait history, and now they're ending it with about as pro an Apple editorial as possible. In the piece, which appears without byline, the WSJ calls Judge Denise Cote "abusive" and the special prosecutor a "friend" who is "besieging" Apple in an arrangement that's "flatly unconstitutional". And that's not the worst of it: