wednesday, 12 february of 2014

U.S. - Federal appeals court denies Apple´s motion to block antitrust monitor


Federal appeals court denies Apple's motion to block antitrust monitor

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Monday denied a motion by Apple requesting a temporary hold on the duties of the court appointed external compliance officer Michael Bromwich. The compliance monitor was installed in October by Judge Cote of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, three months after she found Apple liable for conspiring with five publishers to raise e-book prices.

Monday's ruling comes a month after Apple sought to disqualify Bromwich, alleging the compliance monitor exceeded his mandate by demanding access to certain documents and questioning Apple executives on subjects outside of the anti-trust compliance program. The district court's order was upheld, requiring the monitor to assess the appropriateness of the anti-trust compliance programs adopted by Apple and the means used to communicate those programs to its personnel. The plaintiffs are seeking $840 million in damages, and a trial is scheduled for May.

Apple is defending itself in a lawsuit over anti-trust violations brought by 33 state attorneys general and class action attorneys representing consumers from 16 states. In September Judge Cote entered an injunction against Apple preventing the company from future anti-trust violations in connection with e-book price fixing.

The injunction forbids Apple from making any contractual relations with publishing companies that "restricts, limits, or impedes Apple's ability to set, alter, or reduce the Retail Price of any E-book." Last July Cote ruled Apple violated the Sherman Act and various state statutes in an e-book price-fixing conspiracy, and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) accused Apple of working with major publishers to increase the price of their e-books.

(Published by Jurist – February 11, 2014)

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