Compliance Monitor Says Relationship With Apple Has 'Significantly Improved'

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ibooks.pngIn his first report to US District Judge Denise Cote, external compliance monitor Michael Bromwich says that his relationship with Apple has "significantly improved" since Apple was ordered to hire him to ensure the company complies with antitrust requirements in the wake of the e-book antitrust case, reports the Wall Street Journal.


After the Second Circuit panel issued its decision in early February, we took steps to reestablish contact and to attempt to “reset” our relationship with Apple, as this Court had directed during the January 13, 2014 proceedings and in its January 16, 2014 opinion. Those steps prompted constructive responses from Apple. As more fully described in this Report, the relationship between Apple and the monitoring team has significantly improved over the past six weeks and has become more focused on achieving the goal of enhancing Apple’s Antitrust Compliance Program pursuant to the Final Judgment.

Bromwich goes on to say that there's been a shift in tone in his relationship with Apple, largely due to the new in-house point of contact that Apple has assigned to work with Bromwich and his team. The new contact has helped Bromwich and his team attain more information and provide a greater commitment to solving disputes than its predecessor, although Bromwich also notes the information was largely about Apple "generally" and that more would be required.

This is a promising turn in a relationship that has so far been troubled, with Apple complaining of Bromwich's exorbitant fees and Bromwich complaining that Apple was blocking interviews and interfering with his investigation. Apple later requested Bromwich's removal. While the request was not granted, Judge Cote did place boundaries on Bromwich's monitorship.

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85 months ago
In other news, Michael Bromwich was recently seen wearing an iWatch and holding what seems to be the very first iPhone 6 off the assembly line....
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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85 months ago

Does that mean this whole eBook madness will be over and done with soon?


I'm looking forward to the appeal. Does anyone have any idea when the appeal starts ?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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85 months ago

There's nothing one sided about it. It's what they are accused of doing:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304444604577337573054615152

They were certainly accused of price fixing. However, nothing about your hamburger analogy was analogous to the case against Apple. As I pointed out, it wasn't all, or even a majority, of the publishers by market share, and they didn't agree to sell all books at a specific amount. All of the publishers continued to compete with each other on price.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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85 months ago

Hi CM,

The issue is not the profit that Apple would make from the ebook sales. The issue is that Apple is accused of colluding with other ebook providers to keep ebook prices artificially high. :eek: This is akin to all your local hamburger restaurants agreeing to sell their burgers for a specific amount. This mitigates competition between the restaurants, is good for the restaurants, but bad for the consumer.

A more detailed explanation can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_fixing

That's a very one sided analogy. It's not all the hamburger restaurants. Just 40% of them. And they all sell different products at different prices. But they used to sell them through a take out service that was willing to lose money on all the most popular burgers in order to increase sales and drive the take out business overall. So they decided to drop that take out business in favor of a new one, possibly colluding to do so.

However, the judge decided that the new take out service must have known the restaurants were colluding because...[mumble]. So the new take out service is responsible for the vast majority of the damages caused by the alleged collusion of the 40% of the restaurants. Oh, and the DOJ said it was okay if 30% of the restaurants merge, because that doesn't have the same effect as collusion because...[mumble].

:D That's still a pretty messed up analogy.
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85 months ago

Does that mean this whole eBook madness will be over and done with soon?

Nope, just a better beginning. Apple will probably still deal with civil lawsuits anyway.

Hopefully, Apple will loosen up on everything else as well.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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