Apple Loses Bid To Block Antitrust Monitor in E-Book Case


On Monday a federal appeals court rejected Apple’s latest bid to put a court-appointed antitrust monitor on hold. The company claimed the monitor’s work was causing irreversible harm.

The second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York stated that monitor Michael Bromwich may continue to examine Apple’s antitrust compliance. The company is currently working on an appeal to have him removed altogether.

The monitor was ordered by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in October after Apple was found to be conspiring with five publishers to raise e-book prices. Apple has since fought to get rid of Bromwich saying that he has improperly sought interviews with executives and he has access to documents well beyond the scope of what he actually needs. The court’s order made it very clear that Bromwich’s powers are not limitless.

The court noted that lawyers for the Department of Justice agreed during oral arguments that Bromwich is not permitted to investigate whether Apple employees are complying with antitrust laws. Instead, the government said, Bromwich’s responsibilities are limited to assessing Apple’s compliance policies and its efforts to disseminate those policies to its workers.

The appeals court has said it would deny any requests for a stay pending appeal if the monitor “conducts his activities within the appropriate bounds”.

Apple has been recently hit with $840 million in damages over the e-books case. The appeal will likely take months to resolve.

[via Reuters]