Apple Inc. (AAPL) Bid To Oust e-Book Antitrust Monitor Denied

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Bid To Oust e-Book Antitrust Monitor Denied
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s request for a stay order requiring an external compliance monitor pending the company’s appeal was denied by the court on Monday. The bid was ruled out by the U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan, saying “I want the monitorship to succeed for Apple.”

Cote sees nothing inappropriate

According to the judge, there was nothing inappropriate in the declaration filed by the lawyer Michael Bromwich, who has been appointed as the monitor in the case. Apple has been demanding the disqualification of the monitor on the basis of the declaration.

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Cote, in her statement, said she would announce her decision shortly with the proper reason, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will get 48 hours to bid for an emergency stay from the federal appeals court in New York.

Last year, in July, Apple was accused of conspiring with five publishers to increase the price of e-books. Books that were available on Amazon for $9.99 inflated to $12.99 or $14.99 as a result of back-room discussions. The five publishers that were allegedly involved with Apple are Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, News Corp’s HarperCollins, Pearson, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster.

In October, Bromwich was appointed as the monitor by Cote in the matter related to Apple’s involvement in the conspiracy with five publishers to increase the e-book prices.

Apple accused monitor of inappropriate behavior

In November, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) issued an objection against Bromwich that the monitor is inappropriately trying to interview the top executives even though he is supposed to review the company’s antitrust policies 90 days after his appointment.

According to the iPhone maker, Bromwich charged a high fee at $1,100 hourly, which according to Apple provided him the encouragement to investigate as deeply as possible. Bloomberg reported, citing Cote, that the law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, which is used by Apple, has an hourly billing rate of $1,800 an hour.

Apple accused Bromwich of being biased against the company and of “grossly inappropriate behavior.”

Bromwich was defended by the Justice Department, and the monitor also filed a declaration questioning the Apple’s claims of him being involved in the ‘roving’ investigation, and citing a series of failed attempts to get support from Apple.

According to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) lawyer Theodore Boutrous, the iPhone maker would appeal while the spokeswoman for the Justice Department declined immediate comment, reports Reuters.

The case is U.S. v Apple Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 12-2826.

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