Apple Asks Court to Disqualify Appointed eBook Antitrust Monitor

Apple has shown the door to the lawyer in charge of monitoring the company’s antitrust compliance after a judge found it to be guilty of conspiring to fix eBook prices, and now seeks the court’s approval for its move, Reuters reports.

Judge Denise Cote appointed Michael Bromwich back in October after she found Apple guilty of conspiring with five book publishers to fix eBook prices. Bromwich served as an external compliance monitor for Apple, but the cooperation between the two parties just couldn’t take off.


As Apple’s letter sent to Cote points out, Bromwich has “aggressively sought to interview top executives”, and thought that his mandate would give him the right to assess the company’s antitrust policies 90 days after his appointment.

Another issue cited by Apple in previous filings was Bromwich’s hourly payment of $1,100. From the Cupertino-based company’s perspective, this rate allowed the appointed lawyer to run “as broad and intrusive [an] investigation as possible”.

In the end, Bromwich filed a declaration in which he defended his work, and detailed his unsuccessful efforts to gain Apple’s cooperation. Apple’s lawyers called this declaration “wholly inappropriate”, and asked Cote to disqualify Bromwich from his appointed position as external monitor.

The request comes on top of previous reports claiming a special relationship between Cote and Bromwich.