Apple objects to e-book ruling monitor

Apple is repeating its objections to a court-appointed antitrust monitor.

Last year, Judge Denise Cote — of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan — found Apple guilty of conspiring with book publishers to fix prices of e-books. As a part of the company’s punishment, Apple was directed to allow a court-appointed antitrust monitor to continually examine the company’s compliance with antitrust laws and the court’s order.

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In court documents filed Tuesday, Apple repeated previous accusations that the monitor — Michael Bromwich, former offshore drilling advisor for the Obama administration — has overstepped his authority as designated by the court.

Bromwich “has repeatedly demanded interviews with Apple’s senior executives and board members who have no role in the day-to-day operation of the business unit at issue or in the development of Apple’s antitrust compliance policies and training programs,” the company told District Judge Denise Cote.

The company said Bromwich views “himself as unconstrained by the federal rules governing discovery and other matters” and acts “like an independent prosecutor.”

Apple said it objected to Bromwich’s attempts to access the company’s employees without a lawyer present, which “unjustifiably risks disclosure of privileged and confidential information.”

Bromwich has accused the company of keeping him from accessing the necessary people to conduct his compliance review.

Apple also objected to Cote’s choice of Bromwich for compliance monitor, since he has previously challenged Apple's arguments in the case, making "it clear that 'his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.'"

Finally, Apple challenged the fee structure for Bromwich’s role as monitor. The structure “creates a personal financial interest in as broad and lengthy an investigation as possible,” the company wrote.

Correction: An earlier version of this article mischaracterized Apple's objection's to Bromwich's position on the comany.

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