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US: Court denies Apple’s bid to remove antitrust monitor in e-books case

 |  May 28, 2015

A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected Apple’s bid to disqualify an antitrust compliance monitor who was appointed after the company was found liable for conspiring with five publishers to raise e-book prices.

While saying some allegations against the monitor, Michael Bromwich, “give pause,” the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said a lower court judge did not abuse her discretion in rejecting Apple’s bid to disqualify him.

Bromwich was installed through a permanent injunction by US District Judge Denise Cote, after she ruled in favor of the US Department of Justice in July 2013 by finding that Apple had played a “central role” in conspiring to raise e-book prices and impede rivals such as Amazon.

The California-based company is appealing that decision. Apple separately entered a $450 million settlement of related claims by 31 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and consumers, contingent on the decision being upheld.

In seeking Bromwich’s ouster, Apple claimed he collaborated improperly with the Justice Department and the states, was too aggressive in demanding interviews with executives, and charged hourly fees that began at $1,100 before being cut to $1,000, an amount revealed on Thursday.


Full content: The Wall Street Journal

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