Court antitrust compliance officer complains about Apple

There are not many windows into Apple’s internal workings, so when one opens, we should take a close look.

The ongoing battle between Apple and the lawyer assigned to monitor the iPhone maker’s compliance with antitrust law shows that feelings are still raw over the firm’s loss in its federal e-book price fixing case.

In a Justice Department filing on Tuesday cited in article by the Associated Press, Michael Bromwich, the antitrust compliance monitor chosen by the federal judge in the case, said since his appointment in October, the company had held back requested information as well as top executives he asked to interview.

According to the A.P. story, in a document filed with the court Bromwich wrote:

In my 20 years of doing oversight work, I have never before had the entity over which I was exercising oversight unilaterally dictate who could be interviewed, even in those instances in which I have dealt with very sensitive matter, including highly classified matters of national security.

In addition, according to the A.P.,  one Apple director told Bromwich that executives would  ” ‘never get over the case’ and that they were extremely angry and that many people in the company were fearful.”

Last month, in a court filing, Apple complained about Bromwich, his hourly rate, his unreasonable and irrelevant demands. He was conducting, the firm said, a “broad and amorphous inquisition.”  When Apple didn’t cater to his demands quickly enough, Bromwich accused the firm of not taking its obligations seriously, according to the filing.

It’s safe to assume we haven’t heard the last from Apple, or Bromwich, about the matter.

Above: Apple marketing executive Phil Schiller at an Apple event in October.(Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group).

Michelle Quinn Michelle Quinn (118 Posts)

Michelle Quinn is a Business Columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. Prior to her current role, she was the Silicon Valley correspondent at Politico covering tech policy and politics. She has also covered the tech industry at the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. She was a blogger for the New York Times.