Apple loses its battle to oust antitrust monitor from ebooks case


Apple's stuck with the court-appointed monitor tasked with keeping an eye on the inner workings of its digital business — at least for now. In a ruling today, US District Judge Denise Cote denied a request by Apple to oust Michael Bromwich, who last year was tasked with keeping the tech giant within the bounds of antitrust laws following its loss to the Justice Department over ebooks price-fixing. In a filing last week Apple said it wanted Bromwich out, and accused him of having a personal bias against the company. Moreover, Apple had also tried to reverse the need for a monitor entirely, something Cote denied as part of her ruling today, Reuters reports.

Still on the job

The spat between the two began weeks ago. Bromwich fired first, saying the company had been wholly uncooperative, shutting him out from speaking with board members and executives as part of his job. Apple's lawyers then took Bromwich to task, saying he charged too much for his services, and overstepped his boundaries of viewing the deepest parts of its business.

Bromwich's two-year post at Apple was just part of a set of penalties placed on the company following its loss in court last year. The Justice Department also requested that Apple sever its existing agreements with the major book publishers, as well as change the way competitors like Amazon are able to display and link to content within apps on Apple's iOS platform. Judge Cote agreed with some of those things, like the scrapping existing deals, and installing the monitor, though disagreed with changing how competitors sold their goods. Apple can still fight this latest decision, Reuters says, but only has two days to do so after Cote elaborates on this latest decision.

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