Second U.S. Circuit Court Hears Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Plea To Remove Antitrust Monitor Bromwich
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has started its arguments in a plea to remove external antitrust monitor, Michael Bromwich, in the second United States Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, in New York. One of the Judges also voiced his concern over the methodology adopted in his investigation.
In Tuesday’s proceedings, Judge Dennis Jacobs of the Circuit Court took the issue of monitoring activities with Bromwich. This included his request to meet Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) executives, besides board members, in the absence of their lawyers. The Judge said that it could suggest the amount of anxiety it generated among the company.
However, Finnuala T Gessier, counsel for the Justice Department, denied that Bromwich has met executives of the company without the presence of legal representation. She also said that Bromwich held talks privately with the Justice Department terming that such discussions were expected and necessary. She said that otherwise, monitorship would not work.
The issue of $1,100 per hour fees charged by Bromwich was also taken up by Judge Jacobs, stating that the public would be stunned by the amount of charges. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) disclosed, in late 2013, that Bromwich wanted excessive pay, which worked out to $138,432.40 at that time, for the two-week period of work. However, it was reduced to an undisclosed amount. Judge Jacobs also ordered existing details to be filed by Thursday.
Federal Judge, Denise Cote, has appointed Bromwich in 2013 following the findings of guilty in colluding with publishers of a book to falsely inflate e-book prices. The external monitor was appointed with the specific task of ensuring the technology bellwether was abiding the ruling and preventing it from reaching any other, similar, business deals.
For its part, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) charged Bromwich with holding an extensive and unconstitutional investigation of the company. This argument was reiterated by its lawyer on Tuesday in court. In case the company’s appeal gets a favorable judgment, it could mean avoiding a $450 million settlement of a class action suit.
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