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Apple fights to remove antitrust compliance monitor in ebooks price-fixing case

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Apple is pushing to remove the court-appointed antitrust compliance monitor for its ebook price-fixing court case. The company says Michael Bromwich — who was appointed by US District Judge Denise Cote earlier this year — has a personal bias against the company, and should be disqualified from serving in his assigned position.

Law firm Gibson Dunn wrote to Judge Cote this week, stating that Bromwich thinks of himself as an "independent prosecutor not a judge," and imagines himself "unconstrained by the federal rules governing discovery and other matters." The letter's main argument for the compliance monitor's removal is a "wholly inappropriate declaration" filed by Bromwich with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in December. The declaration detailed Apple's apparent obstinance in assisting with Bromwich's work on the case and denied the company's claims that his actions as compliance monitor were unconstitutional.

Apple says Michael Bromwich has a personal bias against the company

Apple and Bromwich have been at odds since a lawyer was appointed to the case by Judge Cote in October of 2013. In November, Apple complained about Bromwich's "unfettered and inappropriate manner" and exorbitant hourly fees. For his part, Bromwich has explained to the court that Apple displayed a "surprising lack of cooperation" in granting access to its employees and board members during the case. The push to oust the lawyer from his court-appointed position comes a week before both sides will meet in court to deliver their arguments to Judge Cote on January 14th.