Court Appointed Antitrust Compliance Monitor Charges Too High Fees, Apple Says
Apple isn’t quite satisfied with the administrative fee the court-appointed lawyer charges, a recently issued formal objection obtained by Bloomberg shows. The monitor was assigned by the court as part of the ruling issued in the eBook price-fixing case.
“Of all known past Apple matters,” no lawyer has had a higher rate than Michael Bromwich’s proposed hourly fee of $1,100, the world’s most valuable technology company said in a Nov. 27 filing in federal court in Manhattan. “Mr. Bromwich appears to be simply taking advantage of the fact that there is no competition here or, in his view, any ability on the part of Apple, the subject of his authority, to push back on his demands,” lawyers for Cupertino, California-based Apple said in the filing.
The DOJ named the lawyer back in October, and he has apparently charged Apple a high price for his services, higher than $1,100 per hour. The lawyer, Michael Bromwich, is charging an extra 15% administrative fee on top of his usual hourly rate, alongside the cost of hiring other lawyers to assist him.
Bromwich’s position is that he is handling the case though his consultancy company, the Bromwich Group, instead of his law firm, a distinction that Apple’s lawyers found “slippery at best”.
In fact, the total amount Bromwich requested from Apple for two weeks of work was $138,432, which is equivalent to 75% of a federal judge’s annual salary, as Apple’s filing highlights. What’s interesting is that Bloomberg tried to contact Bromwich, but he wasn’t available for comment, as he was out of the country.