Apple Wins Brief Stay of External Monitoring in E-Books Antitrust Case

Tuesday January 21, 2014 7:25 AM PST by Eric Slivka
iBooksThe ongoing dispute over external compliance monitoring of Apple in the e-books antitrust case has taken another turn today, with a federal appeals court granting Apple a brief reprieve from monitoring as it considers the possibility of a longer stay as Apple appeals the original decision, reports Reuters.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York granted Apple an "administrative stay" of the court order appointing the monitor, Michael Bromwich, while the company seeks permission for a longer stay during its appeal.

In a brief order, the 2nd Circuit said a three-judge panel would hear Apple's motion for a stay pending appeal as soon as possible. It gave the government until Jan. 24 to file opposition papers. The government did not oppose the request for an administrative stay.
Last November, Apple filed a formal complaint regarding Bromwich, alleging significant overreach and exorbitant fees. In response, Bromwich, who has no significant previous antitrust experience and whose ties to Judge Denise Cote have been questioned, claimed that Apple was hindering his investigations.

Apple formally requested removal of Bromwich earlier this month, but Cote declined to do so, arguing that "Apple's reaction to the existence of a monitorship underscores the wisdom of its imposition."

Apple is continuing to pursue an appeal of the original decision, and the appeals court will ultimately decide whether the monitoring by Bromwich should be put on hold while that appeal is heard.

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Posted: 10 months ago

It is about time for the tide to turn on this case!


Well, you'll note it was out of Cote's hands at this point. Everything up to this point has been all Judge Cote. Who, really, is on the defensive, though thats not how many news media's present it.

Her conduct and link to Bromwich is a very big deal and has the potential of pulling her from the bench.

I honestly don't think Apple would have kept pushing unless they thought they had something to that effect. They just needed to hold out long enough to get it into the Appeals Court. I often wonder if thats what Cote meant when she "supposedly" told Bromwich to hurry up and get in there, that he wouldn't have much time.

Anyway, we'll see I guess. All bets are off at this point I think. Depends on what kind of hand Apple really has.. we should now in the next few weeks/months.

Now the real pop-corn, head turning, begins. I want extra butter on mine. ;)
Rating: 7 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago

So, what, Bromwich just sits in a hotel for a while?


If nothing else, he cannot bill Apple $1100 an hour for the remainder of this week. :D
Rating: 5 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago
It is about time for the tide to turn on this case!
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago
This is a good decision. It is clearly a conflict to put someone who has no antitrust experience into a position of overseeing such a large decision by the courts. Especially a friend of the judge who handed down that decision.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago
I really never understood why Apple was guilty of price fixing. And this whole business with this guy is really beyond me. I do hope that in appeals things get sorted out better. The idea of going back to Amazon setting the price for books just does not sound right (I know that is not exactly what was decided, but in essence the judge said that Apple was guilty of colluding in breaking the Amazon model and that in doing so that was a bad thing).
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago
If someone is guilty of price fixing, it's Amazon. They had set the price artificially low in an attempt to kill the competitors, control the market, and inadvertently harm publishers. I'm not for higher prices, but the market should determine those prices, not one seller. What Apple did was get together with publishers and said, 'hey, why don't you set the price of the book and if no one buys it, you'll have to lower prices'. This is how the economy is supposed to work. The government, and many citizens, only care when price fixing raises prices. Keeping a price artificially low hurts the very businesses whose product you want. While it may not hurt the big authors, it can really hurt smaller authors and prevent new authors from ever getting published. The publishers get the prophet but they also assume all the risk.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago
It's a conflict of interest for the judge to hire an unqualified friend.
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago

Well, you'll note it was out of Cote's hands at this point. Everything up to this point has been all Judge Cote. Who, really, is on the defensive, though thats not how many news media's present it.

Her conduct and link to Bromwich is a very big deal and has the potential of pulling her from the bench.

I honestly don't think Apple would have kept pushing unless they thought they had something to that effect. They just needed to hold out long enough to get it into the Appeals Court. I often wonder if thats what Cote meant when she "supposedly" told Bromwich to hurry up and get in there, that he wouldn't have much time.

Anyway, we'll see I guess. All bets are off at this point I think. Depends on what kind of hand Apple really has.. we should now in the next few weeks/months.

Now the real pop-corn, head turning, begins. I want extra butter on mine. ;)


I completely agree that it being out of her hands is why the tide has turned. It was such a sham on all accounts and the monitoring stuff has been a fiasco. Hopefully we see more sanity injected into this process as we move forward.
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago
Finally– A sane decision from the court. I won't hold my breath for the next one.
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 10 months ago

It's a conflict of interest for the judge to hire an unqualified friend.


Biased comments before trial started (and apparently not the first time she has done that regarding apple) as well

I remember seeing the coverage of the whole thing and then noticing that her opinion seemed to ignore all testimony that supported that the DOJ timeline was wrong.

Happy to see the courts giving this a needed review.

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I honestly don't think Apple would have kept pushing unless they thought they had something to that effect.


Yes they are appealing the whole thing but right now I suspect they want a leash on this guy. Control who he talks to and how (ie no demanding disruptions to work, no denying a lawyer), and the fees. If he wants to consult with a lawyer fine. But bringing in a huge team and sticking Apple with the bill, not cool

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As a book publisher, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Rather than focus only on Apple, the court needs to look at the bigger picture and delve into Amazon's ebook pricing tactics as well.


I'll back that. All forms of media could do with some limits across the board. Dump the ability to have exclusive deals that keep items on only one service for long periods, set upper price limits so we are paying $50 for a digital version that is half the quality and no features on something that sells on disk for $30 etc.

But the key is rules for all players
Rating: 2 Votes

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