Judge rebuffs Apple attempt to block e-books monitor

US Judge Denise Cote, who ruled that Apple conspired to fix e-book prices, denies the company's attempt to throw off a monitor that was appointed to oversee its antitrust compliance.

A US judge on Monday denied Apple's attempt to throw off an external monitor she appointed to keep tabs on the company's compliance with antitrust laws, following her ruling of Apple's e-books conspiracy last year.

At a hearing, Judge Denise Cote denied Apple's request to put the monitoring on hold until its appeal of her ruling is complete, according to Reuters. Last July, Cote found Apple violated antitrust laws, orchestrating a conspiracy to fix the prices of e-books.

Cote in October named former Assistant US Attorney and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich as the monitor for the company for the next two years, which was less than the five-year injunction Apple faces across numerous deals with publishers as part of a July ruling.

It didn't take long for Apple to butt heads with Bromwich. Apple complained in November that the attorney's fees were excessive , pointing to the $138,432 he charged for his first two weeks of work. Bromwich countered that his requests to meet with key Apple personnel were largely being ignored. Earlier this month, lawyers for Apple asked Cote to disqualify Bromwich , arguing that he has demonstrated a personal bias against the company.

The Justice Department sued Apple and five of the six top book publishers last year, saying they conspired together to break Amazon's hold on the e-books market with its popular Kindle Reader by setting prices. Though the publishers settled, Apple fought the Justice Department's accusations in court, and lost. Cote ruled that Apple "orchestrated" the conspiracy, which Apple plans to fight on appeal.

 

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