Judge Cote to Apple: Your Very Objections Prove You Need a Monitor

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Judge Denise Cote issued a 64-page ruling Thursday explaining why she rejected Apple's request to remove the monitor she imposed on the company. In that ruling, she said that Apple has only itself to blame for any trouble it has with the monitor, and that the company's objections are proof that she was right to have appointed one in the first place.

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“While Apple would prefer to have no monitor, it has failed to show that it is in the public interest to stop his work,” Judge Cote wrote, according to Bloomberg. “If anything, Apple’s reaction to the existence of a monitorship underscores the wisdom of its imposition.”

On Monday, Judge Cote issued the main part of her ruling by denying Apple's motions to have Michael Bromwich replaced as monitor and to remove the monitorship in its entirety. At that time she said she would explain why "soon," and today's 64-page ruling is that explanation. Apple now has two days to appeal her decisions.

Her point in the explanation appears to be quite clear: Apple is a convicted antitrust offender and needs to think differently about how it approaches the monitor. She argued more than once that it was in the public interest to keep the monitor in place.

“Hopefully, that relationship can be ‘reset’ and placed on a productive course,” judge Cote wrote. “But it is strongly in the public’s interest for the monitor to remain in place.”

Apple has said it will appeal her decisions.

Image made with help from Shutterstock.

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Yes…the very act of noticing that the court-appointed personal friend of the judge is demanding to investigate Apple’s business practices that are beyond the scope of the antitrust case is proof that he should be given unfettered access. What’s next, weighing Tim Cook’s stool to make sure they aren’t committing any environmental offenses?

Dorkus Maximus

Of course if Apple made no objections it would have no hope of relief from this onerous burden.


I thought the complete removal of a monitor was a pro forma appeal, and the real appeal here was the specific removal of Bromwich. Did Judge Cote list any notable reasons for why she wanted THIS particular monitor to stay in place?


Judge Cote has only herself to blame for trouble with an incompetent and featherbedding monitor, and her 64-page defense are proof that she was wrong to have appointed a personal friend, who had to hire someone else to do his job, in the first place.

Is such corruption a basis for disbarment?


ibuck: Nothing will happen to her. There was a case in the USA that dragged on for ten years, with a judge siding with one party consistently, making every single decision against the other party no matter what it was about, and they had to wait until the judge retired until all his decisions were reversed by the next judge.

Chris Meadows

The odd thing about the claim that Bromwich is a personal friend of the judge is that nobody seems to be making any kind of big deal out of it except the WSJ and Apple partisans who read it. I would think that if the friendship were that big of a deal, Apple would have brought it up in its objection. I mean, they accused Bromwich of bias for fricking *defending himself against their allegations*. If there was something to Bromwich being a friend of Cote’s, don’t you think they would have brought it up themselves? Could it be that the legal community is actually fairly small and it’s not really that uncommon for lawyers and judges to be acquainted with each other?

And I’m not exactly sure how charging rates commensurate with the rates Apple’s own lawyers charge could be considered “featherbedding.” When you get right down to it, the difference between the $800 an hour Apple wanted to pay and the $1,100 an hour the monitor wanted to charge is trivial to a multi-billion-dollar megacorporation. One of the partners at the law firm Apple uses charges nearly two grand an hour! It looks to me like Apple is just trying to throw up every impediment it possibly can, because it still doesn’t believe it did anything wrong and is playing for time in the hope that it can get a more favorable ruling on appeal.

We should have a pretty good guess in a few weeks how the rest of the case will go, when we find out how the appeals court responds to Apple’s request for an emergency stay. If they don’t grant the stay either, it seems likely Cote’s main ruling will pass muster with them, too.

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