On Wednesday, a U.S. judge appointed an external monitor to keep a close eye on Apple (News - Alert) in compliance with antitrust laws. This decision comes as a direct result of Apple’s gigantic loss in court earlier this year. As part of a ruling that was given back in July, Apple was given a five-year injunction after making numerous price-fixing deals with publishers.
Former U.S. Attorney and Justice Department Inspector Michael Bromwich was appointed by Judge Denise Cote. Bromwich will keep tabs on the company for the next two years. In his position as monitor, Bromwich will work from inside Apple to maintain the company’s compliance with antitrust laws. Assisting him will be Barry Nigro, the chair of the antitrust department at law firm Fried Frank. Together, Bromwich and Nigro will oversee Apple’s internal antitrust compliance policies and employee training.
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This is not the first time Bromwich has been chosen for this type of position. He played a similar role within Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia over a decade ago. Recently he served as part of the U.S. oversight on the oil industry.
Prior to coming on board at Fried Frank, Nigro served as deputy director for the Bureau of Competition at the Federal Trade Commission. His specialized in anticompetitive practices investigations and litigation.
The Justice Department sued Apple last April along with five of the six largest book publishers in the United States. The Justice Department accused Apple and the publishers of conspiring to set e-book prices. They were also accused of working together to break Amazon’s strong hold on the market with its popular Kindle e-book reader.
The publishers in the case settled leaving Apple standing alone. After the conclusion of the trail Judge Cote ruled that Apple “orchestrated" the “conspiracy." Apple states that it plans to fight the ruling.
Edited by Alisen Downey