Apple loses bid to block antitrust monitorship

Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:33pm EST
 
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By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc lost a bid on Monday to block an antitrust monitor appointed after a judge's finding that the company conspired to fix e-book prices.

At a hearing, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan denied Apple's request to stay an order requiring an external compliance monitor pending the company's appeal.

"I want the monitorship to succeed for Apple," she said.

The judge also said there was "nothing improper" about a declaration filed by a lawyer chosen to serve as monitor, Michael Bromwich, that became the basis of Apple seeking his disqualification.

Cote said she will promptly issue a decision explaining her reasoning. Apple will then have 48 hours to seek an emergency stay from the federal appeals court in New York, she said.

Theodore Boutrous, a lawyer for Apple, at the hearing said Apple would appeal. A spokeswoman for the Justice Department declined immediate comment.

The hearing was the latest to spill out of a growing dustup stemming from Apple's objections to the monitor. Cote appointed Bromwich to that role in October, three months after she found Apple liable for conspiring with five publishers to raise e-book prices.

In November, Apple complained he had been trying aggressively to interview top executives, even though his mandate called for him to review the company's antitrust policies 90 days after his appointment.   Continued...

 
The Apple logo is pictured on the front of the company's flagship retail store near signs for the central subway project in San Francisco, California January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith