This past summer, Apple was found guilty of colluding with book publishers to fix eBook prices. The consumer tech giant appealed the ruling and lost, and part of its punishment is to play host to a court-appointed external antitrust monitor who would be tasked with ensuring that the company complies with the court’s various orders. Apple, needless to say, is not happy about it. The company has complained about the monitor a number of times, arguing that his fees are exorbitant and his methods are invasive, and now Apple is once again asking the court to remove him from his post.
In a letter filed with U.S. District Judge Denise Cote late on Tuesday, Apple asked the Manhattan court to disqualify antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich. Apple’s new argument is that Bromwich has exhibited personal bias toward the company.
His wholly inappropriate declaration in an adversarial proceeding is compounded by his conduct and the circumstances surrounding his appointment and activities, including his reliance on preappointment conversations with the Court and plaintiffs as grounds for expanding his mandate beyond the terms of the Final Judgment, his active collaboration with plaintiffs to broaden the scope of his mandate in this manner and oppose Apple’s motion for stay, his financial demands, and his adversarial, inquisitorial, and prosecutorial communications and activities toward Apple since his appointment.
The letter also complained once again of the monitor’s excessive fee of $1,100 per hour, which Apple argues encourages Bromwich to engage in “as broad and intrusive investigation as possible.” Apple’s previous requests for Bromwich’s removal have gone unfulfilled.