In his first report to US District Judge Denise Cote, external compliance monitor Michael Bromwich says that his relationship with Apple has “significantly improved” since Apple was ordered to hire him to ensure the company complies with antitrust requirements in the wake of the e-book antitrust case, reports the Wall Street Journal.
After the Second Circuit panel issued its decision in early February, we took steps to reestablish contact and to attempt to “reset” our relationship with Apple, as this Court had directed during the January 13, 2014 proceedings and in its January 16, 2014 opinion. Those steps prompted constructive responses from Apple. As more fully described in this Report, the relationship between Apple and the monitoring team has significantly improved over the past six weeks and has become more focused on achieving the goal of enhancing Apple’s Antitrust Compliance Program pursuant to the Final Judgment.
Bromwich goes on to say that there’s been a shift in tone in his relationship with Apple, largely due to the new in-house point of contact that Apple has assigned to work with Bromwich and his team. The new contact has helped Bromwich and his team attain more information and provide a greater commitment to solving disputes than its predecessor, although Bromwich also notes the information was largely about Apple “generally” and that more would be required.
This is a promising turn in a relationship that has so far been troubled, with Apple complaining of Bromwich’s exorbitant fees and Bromwich complaining that Apple was blocking interviews and interfering with his investigation. Apple later requested Bromwich’s removal. While the request was not granted, Judge Cote did place boundaries on Bromwich’s monitorship.
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