The Second US Circuit Court of Appeals recently heard Apple’s arguments to dislodge the lawyer Michael Bromwich from his position as an external antitrust monitor. One of the judges even went as far as voicing his concern over the methods used in the investigation. Judge Dennis Jacobs took issue with Bromwich’s monitoring activities, particularly requests that were made such as meeting with Apple and board members without their lawyers. Jacobs had the following to say regarding the matter:

I think you could see how that could generate substantial anxiety in the company.
On the other hand was Justice Department counsel, Finnuala Tessier who stated that Bromwich hadn’t met with Apple executives without legal representation. She also addressed concerns that Bromwich had private discussions with the Department of Justice stating that such talks are actually necessary and expected. Tessier had the following to say regarding the matter:

Monitorships would be unworkable otherwise.
Judge Jacobs also seems to have taken an issue with the $1,100 per hour fees that Bromwich initially charged Apple for his services stating that the public would be “flabbergasted” at the amount. In late 2013, Apple said Bromwich required excessive pay which at the time came out to $138,432,400 for two weeks of work. Bromwich’s working rate has been lowered since to a figure that hasn’t been disclosed but Judge Jacobs ordered current details to be submitted before the end of this week.

For those of you who didn’t know, Bromwich was appointed by federal Judge Denise Cote in 2013 after Apple was found guilty of colluding with book publishers to falsely inflate e-book prices. The external monitor is tasked with ensuring that Apple follows the rules and doesn’t enter similar unsavory business deals. Throughout his time with Apple, the Cupertino California company accused Bromwich of conducting a wide-roving and unconstitutional investigation of the company which is an argument that was reiterated by Apple lawyer Theodore Boutrous in court today.

If Apple’s appeal is granted by the three-judge panel, the Cupertino California company could avoid a $450 million settlement. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Source: Reuters