Free at last! Apple finally ditches controversial antitrust monitor

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Apple can't ditch its ebook compliance monitor.
Apple has finally parted ways with Michael Bromwich.
Photo: Apple

Apple has finally ditched its controversial antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich after two years of what Apple acknowledges has been a “rocky relationship.”

Bromwich was first installed in Cupertino back in October 2013, after Apple was found to have illegally colluded with five book publishers to raise e-book prices in a way that was deemed to have hurt Apple’s competition.

The relationship between Apple and Bromwich (and, by extension, the U.S. Justice Department) was troubled from the start, as Bromwich demanded access to high-level executives with nothing to do with the case, handed in an “unprecedented” legal bill of $138,432 for his first two weeks’ work, and even charged Apple for reading the newspaper.

Despite the Justice Department claiming that Apple “never embraced a cooperative working relationship with the monitor,” Apple has nonetheless performed all of its expected duties over the past couple of years in terms of compliance.

In a letter to Judge Denise Cote sent yesterday, the D.O.J. advised that an antirust monitor is no longer needed as Apple has, “now implemented meaningful antitrust policies, procedures, and training programs that were obviously lacking at the time Apple participated in and facilitated the horizontal price-fixing conspiracy found by [the] court.”

Apple disagrees that it has dragged its feet regarding its court-appointed monitor, but says that it has, “developed and implemented a comprehensive, engaging, and effective antitrust compliance program” during Bromwich’s tenure.

What are the odds that Bromwich and Tim Cook will remain friends now their working relationship is over? I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest they’re thinner than an iPhone 6s.

Source: Bloomberg