Judge appoints attorney to oversee Apple e-book sales practices

Comes as part of a ruling showing the tech giant fixed prices

A federal judge has appointed an attorney to monitor Apple Inc. in the wake of a decision that found the company guilty of conspiring to fix e-book prices. Prominent attorney Michael Bromwich will monitor the efforts of Apple as it attempts to fulfill the terms set up by the court order.

According to Reuter’s, “Bromwich will oversee Apple's antitrust policies and procedures for two years under the order issued by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan on Wednesday. Bernard Nigro, the chair of the antitrust department at the law firm Fried Frank, was appointed to assist Bromwich in his duties.”

Bromwich has previously overseen the regulation of offshore drilling following the Gulf of Mexico spill in 2010, was part of the trial team in the Iran Contra scandal, and owns a strategic consulting group. "I am deeply honored to have been selected by the court to serve as the monitor in this matter," Bromwich said a statement.

The judge responsible for the appointment, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, ruled in July 2013 that Apple conspired with five publishers to raise e-book prices. The publishers in question have since settled with regulators.

The initial reform proposal included a 10-year injunction, internal antitrust monitoring to oversee Apple’s e-book sales practices discussed here, and a requirement allowing other e-book retailers, such as Amazon, to link to their e-book stores from iOS apps. Apple has said that it felt the judgment was overreaching and put it at a disadvantage in the highly competitive e-publishing market.

Apple will appeal the ruling and has flatly denied any wrongdoing, but is not expected to be able to rebuff the monitoring requirements.

In addition to this motion, which will keep better track of Apples e-book dealings, the computer manufacturer was recently the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission review that will require it to be more transparent with its overseas dealings.  

Contributing Author

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Chris DiMarco

Chris DiMarco, Associate Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, has a background in multimedia production with previous involvement in projects in which he developed and created content...

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