Apple was unsuccessful in getting rid of its external eBooks monitor, but the tech giant was at least able to get him to tone his behavior down a bit (via the court, of course).
According to a new report from Reuters, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said that Apple’s external eBooks monitor — Michael Bromwich — will not be put on hold as Apple requested.
Bromwich will, however, have to cut back on his methods of monitoring. According to the court, Bromwich is limited to assessing Apple’s compliance policies and its efforts to pass those policies along to its workers effectively. This means he cannot investigate whether Apple employees are actually complying with antitrust laws or not.
Last month, Apple said Bromwich is too “intrusive” and could interfere with Apple’s ability to create new products, adding that he aggressively sought interviews with top executives and attempted to reach company documents that were outside of his duties.
Apple also said that Bromwich is charging Apple far too much for his services — about $1,100 per hour to be exact.
Michael Bromwich [SOURCE: cir.ca]
The tech company requested a hearing regarding putting Bromwich’s duties on hold until Apple is ready with a formal appeal, but it looks like that isn’t happening. However, Apple is still preparing a formal appeal, but will have to continue dealing with Bromwich in the meantime.
Bromwich was sent to Apple as a monitor due to a court ruling last July that found Apple guilty of conspiring to raise e-book prices. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote handed down the ruling, saying that consumers and competitors were negatively affected by the arrangement Apple had with five book publishers. The publishers were Hachette Livre (Lagardère Publishing France), Harper Collins (News Corp., U.S.A.), Simon & Schuster (CBS Corp., U.S.A.), Penguin (Pearson Group, United Kingdom) and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holzbrinck (owner of inter alia Macmillan, Germany).
Judge Cote sees Apple’s complaints as further reason for having the external monitor in place. In other words, Apple is mad that it was caught acting out-of-line, and doesn’t want to pay the consequences.
“If anything, Apple’s reaction to the existence of a monitorship underscores the wisdom of its imposition,” said Judge Cote.
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