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12-07-2013, 06:25 AM #1
Apple E-Books Antitrust Judge Called Out by WSJ Piece
A recent piece lambasts Judge Denise Cote, the federal judge in charge of the Justice Department’s antitrust suit against Apple, for being “abusive” and “shredding the separation of constitutional powers.” According to the piece, this was done by appointing and granting broad authority to antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich. The Wall Street Journal’s harsh critique mirrors many of the grievances outlined by Apple in the company’s complaint to the court last week, taking issue with Bromwich’s fees, which exceeded $100,000 in just his first two weeks, and accusing Cote of granting Bromwich “carte blanche to act as the inquisitor of all things Cupertino.”
The paper views Judge Cote’s decision as “essentially ruled before hearing the evidence” against Apple and her appointment of an external monitor, let alone Bromwich, whom the WSJ calls “her friend,” is viewed by the paper as a “flatly unconstitutional” violation of her mandate in the case. The following was mentioned regarding the matter:
The "judicial duty" under the Constitution's Article III vests judges with the power to resolve "cases and controversies." Prosecutors enforce laws, conduct investigations and uncover evidence. Judges aren't supposed to appoint their own agents to annex such activities reserved for the executive branch. Mr. Bromwich has rewritten his job description to investigate Apple all over again, not simply monitor if Apple is abiding by the terms of the court judgment while it appeals the case.
The WSJ may be coming to the aid of its News Corp. stablemate and Apple’s antitrust defendant, publisher HarperCollins, which Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt points out was originally averse to joining with Apple and only did so after a personal appeal from Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs to News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch.
Source: The Wall Street Journal via AppleInsider