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Apple again loses bid to oust antitrust monitor from ebooks case

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Apple's efforts to remove an antitrust compliance monitor following last year's ebooks trial hit another road block today, this time one that appears more permanent. In an opinion, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied an Apple motion to remove Michael Bromwich, a court-appointed monitor tasked with keeping the company within the bounds of antitrust laws following its loss to the Justice Department over ebooks price-fixing last year. In an order, the court said Apple hadn't "demonstrated that it is entitled" to a halt of Bromwich's activities, a decision that lands in favor of the Justice Department.

A rocky relationship

Apple has attempted to oust Bromwich since the end of last year, while the former assistant US attorney and Justice Department inspector argued that the company shut him out of speaking with board members and executives, tasks he argued were a key to his job. Apple fired back saying Bromwich was charging too much for his services, and was looking into seemingly unrelated matters of the company's business. In mid-January the district judge overseeing the original ebooks case denied Apple's request to oust Bromwich, though just days later Apple won a temporary stay to reverse that ahead of a federal appeal.

A Justice Department representative said it was "pleased" by the decision, adding that it "makes abundantly clear that Apple must now cooperate with the court-appointed monitor." Apple declined to comment on the opinion.