Apple Once Again Fighting With Antitrust Monitor

2335186114_6f76b43724_bApple's on-again, off-again relationship with its court appointed antitrust monitor is off again.

Appointed by Judge Denise Cote to oversee Apple's compliance with the 2013 antitrust settlement agreement between it and the DOJ, Michael Bromwich reported to the judge this week that Apple continued to block his requests to interview employees and had "inappropriately attempted" to narrow other oversight.

According to Bloomberg:

While Apple has made “comprehensive progress” in adopting measures to detect and report antitrust violations, its cooperation in general has “diminished substantially,” he said in a partially-redacted report made public Thursday. Apple is reverting to a “more adversarial tone,” in part by blocking review of antitrust training and policies, he said.

 Bromwich’s comments came in the third report he’s filed with Cote, this one covering the period from Sept. 1, 2014, to Feb. 28. The report was included in court filings.

Apple had repeatedly come into conflict with Bromwich in the 18 months since he was appointed, so much so that  in February 2014 Judge Cote appointed a magistrate to backup the antitrust monitor.

Things quieted down after that, or so we thought. Now it would appear that Apple is either making more trouble, or perhaps taking steps to make sure that the fighting with Bromwich is once again getting attention in the press.

I can't help but wonder if perhaps the renewed press attention might be related to Apple's ongoing appeal of the 2013 antitrust case. In addition to fighting it out before Judge Cote and trying to lock Bromwich out of the building, in December Apple formally appealed Judge Cote's ruling that Apple had conspired with 5 publishers to raise ebook prices.

Unless I missed something, the 3-judge panel has not handed down a ruling on Apple's appeal. Do you suppose the new buzz about the conflict with Bromwich is related?

images by  _FXRGwyrosydd

About Nate Hoffelder (11585 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

4 Comments on Apple Once Again Fighting With Antitrust Monitor

  1. This guy was always a loose cannon. Now that it’s pretty clear Apple is going to win the appeal, they don’t have to indulge him anymore.

  2. Most companies the size of Apple already have processes and policies to detect and report potential antitrust violations. They also have a business code of conduct which includes strict governance on competition and antitrust compliance. The fact that Apple got into this position in the first space speaks to their inadequate governance. Their adversarial nature on implementing the measures that should have already been in place demonstrates that it wasn’t an oversight. Their board of directors decisions to not demand employees to respect the law speaks to their integrity (or lack thereof). Employees not respecting the court appointed monitor demonstrates a general attitude that they believe they are above the law. I believe this is revealing the true nature of the company rather than a reaction to the court proceedings.

  3. Is it getting close to when they will announce results of the appeal? Looks like Apple are foot-dragging.

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