Truce Almighty: Relationship ‘Significantly Improved’ Between Apple & Antitrust Monitor

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Ever have that situation at school where a teacher who doesn’t seem to like you gives you a bizarrely good end-of-year grade?

That seems to be the case with Apple’s court-appointed monitor Michael Bromwich, who describes the company as being off to a “promising start” with its antitrust compliance program, after being last year found liable for conspiring to raise e-book prices.

Apple’s relationship with Bromwich appeared strained from the very start — with Apple objecting to Bromwich’s “unprecedented” first legal bill ($138,432 for his first two weeks’ work), along with his requests to access top Apple executives.

Both Bromwich and Apple ended up filing legal complaints about the other, although those complaints appear to have now simmered down.

In a new 77-page report filed in U.S. District Court in New York, Bromwich describes his relationship with Apple as “significantly improved” compared to where it was back in February, when Apple lawyers were trying to remove Bromwich from the case.

Following that ruling, Bromwich claims that “there has been a shift of tone in our relationship with Apple,” and that Apple has shown “a greater commitment to resolving lingering disputes.”

Not all is hunky-dory, however.

In particular, Bromwich notes that his monitoring team has been largely unsuccessful speaking with Apple’s senior team, and “still lacks a significant amount of the information it needs to fulfill its monitoring obligations.”

Still, at least those crazy kids aren’t at each other’s throats any more.

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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 Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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