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Judge names compliance monitor in Apple e-book antitrust case

updated 09:30 pm EDT, Wed October 16, 2013

Former DoJ Inspector General chosen for role

As expected, a New York judge has appointed an external monitor to ensure Apple's compliance with a recent antitrust injunction related to e-book price fixing. As noted by CNET, Judge Denise Cote has chosen former Assistant US Attorney and Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Bromwich to work directly with Apple for two years to watch for additional antitrust violations.

In the case, filed by the Department of Justice, Apple was found guilty of colluding with major book publishers to manipulate e-book pricing. The company has been restricted from establishing any agreements with publishers that could result in artificially higher or lower retail prices.

The DoJ had also threatened legal action against several publishers, however they all agreed to settle and left Apple as the sole defendant at trial. The company has vowed to continue the fight in appeals court, though Judge Cote rejected any temporary delay on the injunction.

"By appointing an external monitor to ensure future compliance with the antitrust laws, the court has helped protect consumers from further misconduct by Apple," the DoJ wrote in a statement following the recent ruling.

Bromwich's initially involvement is initially limited to two years, however the injunction leaves open the possibility of extending the monitoring program further into the five-year restriction period.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. TheGreatButcher

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 06-11-00

    This judge could use her own monitor.

  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: 07-25-06

    Quote: "By appointing an external monitor to ensure future compliance with the antitrust laws, the court has helped protect consumers from further misconduct by Apple," the DoJ wrote in a statement following the recent ruling.

    At the time of this alleged crime, Apple had just announced the iPad and thus had 0% of the ebook market. I've not seen the figures, but given how laggardly the Big Six publishers had been about entering the ebook market, I doubt they had over 10% of the sales. And yet it is the DOJ's contention--agreed to by this judge--that Apple and the Big Six hoped to leverage that tiny marketshare to drive ebook prices upward.

    While at that same time Amazon controlled 90% of the ebook market and was making the classic would-be monopolist move of selling ebooks below cost in order keep that mere 10% from mounting an effective competition to Amazon. Yet the DOJ not only hasn't mounted a legal attack on Amazon, it hasn't to my knowledge even conducted an investigation. If fact, if you examine what the DOJ wants to do to punish Apple, the list seems designed to advantage Amazon against its largest competitor.

    For those who wonder, that's precisely how Chicago machine politics works.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Hear, hear, Inkling...couldn't have said it better!

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