Apple's objections show why e-book monitor is needed - judge

NEW YORK Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:45pm IST

People check out several versions of the new iPhone 5C after Apple Inc's media event in Cupertino, California September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/Files

People check out several versions of the new iPhone 5C after Apple Inc's media event in Cupertino, California September 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stephen Lam/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) various objections to a court-appointed antitrust monitor in a case involving fixing e-book prices only confirm the importance of his work, a federal judge said on Thursday.

"If anything, Apple's reaction to the existence of a monitorship underscores the wisdom of its imposition," U.S. District Judge Denise Cote wrote.

Cote's comment came in a 64-page opinion explaining why earlier this week she had rejected Apple's request to stay an order installing an external compliance monitor, after she found Apple liable for conspiring to fix e-book prices.

The judge said she would allow Apple until Tuesday to file an appeal of her decision to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Apple did not immediately comment on the written opinion. A lawyer for the company, Theodore Boutrous, said on Monday that Apple planned to appeal.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said the government was pleased with Cote's decision.

The ruling is the latest step in an escalating skirmish between Apple and the monitor, Michael Bromwich, a former Justice Department inspector general.

Cote appointed Bromwich in October, three months after finding Apple liable for conspiring with five publishers to hike e-book prices.

In November, Apple complained that Bromwich had aggressively and improperly sought interviews with top executives and board members, a criticism that Cote rejected.

"A monitorship would be of little use at all if a monitor were only permitted to receive, review and opine on company-vetted documents," she wrote. "Apple cites to no case holding that a monitor may never conduct interviews and there are many examples to the contrary."

Apple also argued that Bromwich must be disqualified because he had shown bias toward the company by filing a declaration disputing Apple's claims that he had moved too aggressively in his investigation.

Cote said Bromwich had simply responded to Apple's factual allegations.

Apple has also questioned Bromwich's hourly fee of $1,100, saying it gave Bromwich an incentive to drag out his investigation as long as possible.

Cote said there is nothing untoward about the fee and advised Apple that there are procedures in place for it to challenge his pay before seeking a stay. She also said the Justice Department and the monitor offered to adjust his fee, but that Apple did not respond.

Cote said she would assign the fee dispute to a magistrate judge for resolution.

She initially denied Apple's bid after a hearing on Monday but did not offer a full explanation of her reasoning until her opinion on Thursday.

The case is U.S. v Apple Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 12-2826.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Dan Grebler)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Reuters Showcase

Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai

Google's Pichai to oversee major products and services  Full Article 

Fighting For Workers

Fighting For Workers

Ralph Nader urges Apple to reduce buybacks, improve wages - WSJ.  Full Article 

Cybercrime

Cybercrime

Hacker sentenced to 21 months in U.S. prison for $15 mln scheme.  Full Article 

Printed Instruments

Printed Instruments

3D printed instruments make sweet music in Sweden.  Video 

Tweet Debut

Tweet Debut

Britain's Queen Elizabeth sends her first tweet.  Full Article 

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

Google bolsters artificial intelligence efforts, partners with Oxford.  Full Article 

Future Uncertainty

Future Uncertainty

Ericsson flags North America slowdown.  Full Article 

Microsoft Earnings

Microsoft Earnings

Microsoft sales beat Street hopes, cloud profits up.  Full Article 

Looking To Sell

Looking To Sell

HP seeking buyers for corporate-networking business in China - WSJ.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage