Things Are Going Better For Apple’s Antitrust Monitor
Relations between Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its court-appointed antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich seem to be improving since the company was denied a request to halt Bromwich’s work in February. According to a report from Bromwich seen by Reuters, Apple has finally made a “promising start” to improving its antitrust policies, though Bromwich still noted that he hasn’t had the opportunity to speak to many of the company’s top executives.
Judge Denise Cote found Apple guilty of engaging in an elaborate scheme with book publishers to fix the price of e-books to the disadvantage of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and its Kindle e-readers. The publishers — including Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin — elected to settle outside of court, and Amazon recently issued a refund to those affected by the artificial pricing inflation.
Apple vigorously defended its actions, but was still found guilty of breaking antitrust law. Cote appointed an antitrust monitor against the company’s wishes since she believed that Apple was incapable of monitoring its own anticompetitive behavior.
Apple initially responded by dragging its feet on everything Bromwich requested, leading the monitor to file a report at the end of last year saying that Apple repeatedly blocked interviews between him and some of the company’s senior executives and refused to provide him with requested documents. Apple has been throwing a tantrum over the monitor since he was instated in October of last year and yet another request to have Bromwich’s investigation put on hold was denied by the U.S. Justice Department in February.
Apple has said that Bromwich oversteps his bounds in his investigation and abuses his payment structure for personal financial gain. Bromwich fired back by saying that executives’ bitterness over the ruling, which they saw as embarrassing and unfair, made Apple the most difficult company he has ever worked to monitor.