Apple's Bid to Disqualify Antitrust Compliance Monitor Rejected

ibooks-iconThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York today rejected Apple's bid to disqualify antitrust compliance monitor Michael Bromwich, who was appointed to watch the company since it was found liable of conspiring with publishers to fix e-book prices a few years ago, reports Reuters.
"The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said a lower court judge did not abuse her discretion in rejecting Apple's bid to disqualify Michael Bromwich as monitor, even though some of the company's allegations against him 'give pause.'"
In July 2013, Apple lost a significant e-book antitrust case that found the company to have colluded with publishers to raise the price of e-books. As a result, Apple was forced to submit to an external antitrust compliance monitor and $450 million fine as part of a settlement with several class action lawyers and state district attorneys. Last December, the lawsuit entered appeals court as Apple's attempt to overturn the ruling.



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53 months ago
I guess the appeals process is sufficiently opaque we will not see the result until a judge announces it. But to have Apple judged as "per se illegal" going in (of anti-trust), when Amazon had a 90% market share, and the book vendors were complaining about losing pricing rights to their own products, does not pass the smell test.

What Amazon did was akin to dumping.

That is per se illegal in this country.

Rocketman
Rating: 7 Votes
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53 months ago
As a result, ebook price is going up. US government is protecting amazon, not consumers.
Rating: 5 Votes
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53 months ago
So, deciding guilt ahead of time (because "innocent until proven guilty" is so old-fashioned), then picking your unqualified friend as overseer, and allowing him to charge outrageous rates for himself, plus a subordinate he hired who has at least some grasp of the subject matter (that your "expert" friend needs explained to him), and letting them demand meetings with various high-up company employees who had no connection whatsoever to the matter at hand (because that'll make him feel important), poking his nose in everywhere and generally conducting a witch hunt trying to find *something* to complain about...

That "gives pause"? But isn't illegal? Their response feels a bit like, "well, look, he's a good boy, and at least he hasn't killed anyone." And yet it's Apple that has done wrong (by trying to help the publishers break Amazon's monopolistic stranglehold on the industry), and not the prejudging judge and her "expert" friend.

smh.
Rating: 5 Votes
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53 months ago

What I always end up wondering with judgements involving hefty fines....in this case just under half a billion....is just where the hell does that money go???

Does it go to benefit anyone, a process, or just does it end up in some government slush fund?


it depends who wins the case. If Apple wins the case they quickly transfer it to off shore account in Ireland to avoid taxes:p
Rating: 5 Votes
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53 months ago
This whole case is a corrupt farce.

Apple should never have been charged in the first place. Amazon had a monopoly on books and Apple introduced much-needed competition.

As it is, digital books are far too expensive. The same goes for digital music, films, tv programmes, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers. Only when we have digital content that is substantially cheaper than physical will we reach Digital 3.0. Perhaps a 13" iPad would help spur that day on.
Rating: 3 Votes
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53 months ago

I guess the appeals process is sufficiently opaque we will not see the result until a judge announces it. But to have Apple judged as "per se illegal" going in (of anti-trust), when Amazon had a 90% market share, and the book vendors were complaining about losing pricing rights to their own products, does not pass the smell test.

What Amazon did was akin to dumping.

That is per se illegal in this country.

Rocketman


And after all if those years, the same debunked and wrong claims.

Amazon was not dumping prices, publishers were not losing their pricing rights and having less than 90% of marketshare is not illegal.

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So, deciding guilt ahead of time (because "innocent until proven guilty" is so old-fashioned), then picking your unqualified friend as overseer, and allowing him to charge outrageous rates for himself,


Then you will be glad to know that nothing of what you claim really happened.

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This whole case is a corrupt farce.

Apple should never have been charged in the first place. Amazon had a monopoly on books and Apple introduced much-needed competition.

As it is, digital books are far too expensive. The same goes for digital music, films, tv programmes, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers. Only when we have digital content that is substantially cheaper than physical will we reach Digital 3.0. Perhaps a 13" iPad would help spur that day on.

Amazon didn't have any monopoly and Apple finished competition between stores
Rating: 3 Votes
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53 months ago

……... then picking your unqualified friend as overseer, and allowing him to charge outrageous rates for himself, plus a subordinate he hired who has at least some grasp of the subject matter (that your "expert" friend needs explained to him), and letting them demand meetings with various high-up company employees who had no connection whatsoever to the matter at hand


This is the most important part for me. It just screams 'conflict of interest'.
Rating: 3 Votes
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53 months ago

As a result, ebook price is going up. US government is protecting amazon, not consumers.


This is pretty uninformed. E-Book pricing has increased because Amazon recently re-signed contracts with the major publishers. Those contracts allow the publishers to set the price; not Amazon. Amazon's preferred e-book pricing is still $9.99. Amazon has even provided incentives to the publishers for keeping the prices lower.

The page now reads: This price was set by the publisher.

http://www.amazon.com/Wright-Brothers-David-McCullough-ebook/dp/B00LD1RWP6/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1432830787

This is what we wanted right? We were clamoring to pay the $13 for e-books from the iBooks store. Now we can pay $13 everywhere. That's what I call a win-win.:rolleyes:
Rating: 3 Votes
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53 months ago

But to have Apple judged as "per se illegal" going in (of anti-trust), when Amazon had a 90% market share, and the book vendors were complaining about losing pricing rights to their own products, does not pass the smell test.

Amazon having a very large market share doesn't give any right to its competitors to engage in unlawful anticompetitive practices. The large market share does not imply any unlawful practice per se either, nor vendors complaining that their old business model was getting obsoleted.

What Amazon did was akin to dumping.

That is per se illegal in this country.

Accusing Amazon of predatory pricing when its ebooks division was actually profitable "does not pass the smell test".
Rating: 1 Votes
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53 months ago

Amazon having a very large market share doesn't give any right to its competitors to engage in unlawful anticompetitive practices. The large market share does not imply any unlawful practice per se either, nor vendors complaining that their old business model was getting obsoleted.


Your begging the question here. Of course unlawful anti-competitive practices are unlawful and anti-competitive. :D

However, some practices are legal in response unlawful monopolistic practices but not legal for a monopolist. In this case, should it even be illegal to raise prices from the below marginal pricing of a monopolist?

The pricing of most eBooks, the ones that presumably led to Amazon's alleged eBook profits, did not change significantly. The price increase that was the basis of this price fixing claim was about the books that Amazon was selling at a loss.

The DOJ wants to have it's cake and eat it to. It claims that the best sellers and new releases that actually increased in price are a significant enough to pursue a price fixing case. But when it comes to a predatory pricing case, they decide to throw in a bunch of other products to offset the losses. As if books are a commodity.

The goal of antitrust law is healthy competition, not lower pricing. I think the DOJ was distracted from that. Amazon's strategy left no room for significant new competitors.

Accusing Amazon of predatory pricing when its ebooks division was actually profitable "does not pass the smell test".


Do you have a proof that Amazon's eBook division was actually profitable other than the DOJ's claim that has no numbers or methodology? Do you have any precedent that says the predatory pricing claims are based on the profitability of a whole division?
Rating: 1 Votes
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