Apple fails to block ebooks antitrust monitor

Summary:Apple has failed to block a compliance monitor designated to it after a judge found the company guilty of fixing the prices of ebooks.

Apple has lost its battle to block an antitrust compliance monitor aimed at ensuring that it does not fix ebook prices.

According to Reuters, US District Judge Denise Cote denied Apple's request to remove the order. Apple intends to appeal the denial.

Apple has taken issue with the compliance monitor, former US Justice Department inspector general Michael Bromwich. The company argued against Bromwich's interviewing of company leaders and his $1,100 per hour fee, but Cote said that Apple is not in a position to define how Bromwich carries out the role.

According to Bloomberg, Cote also pointed out that the very law firm that Apple uses, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, has hourly billing rates of $1,800 an hour.

In July last year, Cote found that Apple had colluded with five publishers in order to raise the price of ebooks. Some books, sold on Amazon for $9.99 had their prices raised to $12.99 or $14.99 as a result of back-room discussions.

Those involved with Apple were Hachette Book Group, Macmillan, News Corp's HarperCollins, Pearson, Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster (which is owned by CBS, the parent company of ZDNet), which all settled with the US government.

Cotes said at the time that without Apple's "orchestration of this conspiracy", the price fixing would not have succeeded.

Topics: Apple, Legal

About

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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