Apple gets reprieve from e-book monitor's oversight

NEW YORK Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:00pm IST

People walk past an Apple store in San Francisco, California November 29, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/Files

People walk past an Apple store in San Francisco, California November 29, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stephen Lam/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court gave Apple Inc (AAPL.O) a reprieve from an external monitor appointed to oversee its compliance with antitrust laws after the company had been found liable last July for conspiring to raise e-book prices.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Tuesday granted Apple a hearing on whether to stop the monitor, Michael Bromwich, from doing his job while the company pursues a formal appeal, which could last several months.

In granting an "administrative stay," the 2nd Circuit said a three-judge panel would hear Apple's motion for a stay pending appeal as soon as possible.

The U.S. Department of Justice did not oppose the short stay but will fight Apple's effort to get rid of the monitor or else disqualify Bromwich. It has until January 24 to file opposition papers.

Apple has complained that Bromwich has been too intrusive, including by seeking interviews with top executives and board members, and has been charging an inflated $1,100 per hour for his services to rack up high fees.

The Cupertino, California-based maker of the iPad, iPod and iPhone has said Bromwich's activities could interfere with its ability to develop new products.

Courts often appoint monitors in litigation to ensure that companies comply with the law.

But Apple has said U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan, who in a nonjury trial found the company liable for a price-fixing conspiracy with five major publishers, improperly granted Bromwich too much power.

"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," Apple said in a filing on Friday.

Bromwich, a former Justice Department inspector general, denied in a December 30 court filing that he was conducting a "broad and amorphous inquisition."

He said Apple had given him only "limited" access and that a senior antitrust executive had told him he would "see 'a lot of anger' about the case that still existed within the company."

In a decision on Thursday, Cote defended appointing a monitor, writing: "If anything, Apple's reaction to the existence of a monitorship underscores the wisdom of its imposition."

The cases are U.S. v. Apple Inc, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 14-60; and U.S. v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-02826.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Stephen Powell and Lisa Von Ahn)

FILED UNDER:

"India's Daughter"

Reuters Showcase

Countering China

Countering China

PM Modi to ramp up help for Indian Ocean nations to counter China influence  Full Article 

'India's Daughter'

'India's Daughter'

Society created Delhi gang rape convicts: Filmmaker Leslee Udwin.  Full Article | Related Story 

Kohli Censured

Kohli Censured

BCCI warns Virat Kohli against repeat of misbehaviour.  Full Article 

MUDRA Bank

MUDRA Bank

Funding the unfunded: India helps small business borrow to grow  Full Article 

PML(N)'s Hope

PML(N)'s Hope

Pakistan's ruling party looks for gains in upper house election  Full Article 

For Women's Right

For Women's Right

Afghan men don burqas, take to the streets for women's rights.  Full Article 

U.S. Envoy Attacked

U.S. Envoy Attacked

Knife-wielding attacker slashes face of U.S. ambassador in South Korea  Full Article 

New Strategy

New Strategy

Ashwin mulls 'one-sided' ploy against big-hitters.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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