Apple Wins Temporary Relief from eBooks Monitor

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Apple has been granted a temporary relief from court-appointed eBooks monitor. Judge Denise Cote appointed Michael Bromwich last fall to ensure Apple complied with antitrust laws after she found the company guilty of conspiring with five book publishers to fix eBook prices (via Reuters).

The temporary stay was granted by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. The three-judge panel emphasized that it wants to hear Apple’s motion for a stay pending appeal shortly and gave the government a January 24 deadline to file papers for opposition.

You may recall that Apple has asked the court to disqualify Bromwich, based on several reasons. The company claims Bromwich has aggressively sought to interview top executives, and emphasized that the monitor’s $1,100 hourly payment is too high.

On his part, Bromwich accused the Cupertino company of being obstructive and uncooperative during his investigation. On top of that came the reply from the Department of Justice, which inked a harsh-worded letter saying Apple was focusing on personally attacking Bromwich and “thwarting him from performing even the most basic of his court-ordered functions”.

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