Apple battles antitrust monitor

Apple is accusing a court-appointed monitor of charging exorbitant fees and violating its rights.

A federal judge appointed Michael Bromwich, a former Justice Department inspector general, to monitor Apple's compliance with antitrust laws after the company was found guilty of conspiring to raise the price of e-books.

In a filing in federal court on Nov. 27, Apple claimed that Bromwich is operating in an "unfettered and inappropriate manner" and is "trampling Apple's rights."

The company said Bromwich's proposed hourly rate of $1,100 for himself and $1,025 for his "legal support system" is higher than Apple has ever paid for any task. The company said that in only two weeks, he has already demanded nearly 75 percent of the yearly salary for a federal judge.

“Mr. Bromwich appears to be simply taking advantage of the fact that there is no competition here or, in his view, any ability on the part of Apple, the subject of his authority, to push back on his demands,” the company wrote. 

In his own filing, Bromwich claimed that Apple has "largely ignored" his requests to meet with senior executives. 

"The company approach to date is antithetical to the type of relationship that is required for the monitor and the company to work together in a constructive and collaborative manner," he wrote. "This approach has the potential to create a relationship fraught with friction and tension rather than the positive, collaborative relationship we can—and should—have."