Apple’s Antitrust Compliance Monitor Will Stay, Judge Rules

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The verdict is in — and Apple is stuck with Michael Bromwich, the antitrust monitor appointed to ensure the company’s compliance in e-book price fixing antitrust rulings.

Apple had asked U.S. District Judge Denise Cote to disqualify Bromwich on the grounds that he had exhibited a personal bias against Apple.

Instead Cote denied Apple’s request, noting that, “I want the monitorship to succeed.”

Apple’s relationship with Bromwich has been turbulent from the very start, with the company objecting to the “unprecedented” legal bill of $138,432 which Bromwich invoiced for his team’s first two weeks of work.

Bromwich then filed a legal complaint against Apple: claiming that he had been largely cut off from accessing top Apple executives (which Apple argued he shouldn’t have access to anyway), and that he was experiencing delays when it came to receiving requested information.

Apple’s attorneys struck back by asking for Bromwich’s removal, claiming that Bromwich’s legal complaint demonstrated which side of the fence he was on when it came to Apple.

Judge Cote, however, claims that there “nothing improper” about Bromwich’s declaration. Cote said that she will issue a decision explaining her reasoning, which Apple will then 48 hours if it wishes to seek an emergency stay from the federal appeals court in New York.

A lawyer for Apple said that the company would appeal the decision.

Meanwhile the U.S. Department of Justice has struck out at Apple over the dispute, claiming that “Apple has chosen a campaign of character assassination over a culture of compliance,” and that the company was missing a chance to “change its corporate tone” by working with Bromwich.

The full letter is embedded below:

DOJ Response to Apple Request to Remove Bromwich

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Apple Revolution, published by Random House, and is currently writing a book about algorithms for Random House/Penguin to be published in 2014. He also covers the digital humanities for Fast Company. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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