Apple rejected court-appointed monitor Michael Bromwich’s “beastly” legal bill back in late 2013, however the Cupertino, Calif. company’s relationship with Bromwich has “significantly improved” since then, according to the lawyer.
The news comes in Bromwich’s first report to U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, which reached us from The Wall Street Journal. Among the comments made in the monitor’s 77-page document is one particular paragraph, in which Bromwich explains that “the relationship between Apple and the monitoring team has significantly improved.”
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.
As a reminder, Apple rejected Michael Bromwich’s two-week legal bill of $138,432 in November, when the monitor appointed by the court following Cupertino’s e-books price-fixing trial demanded an hourly rate of $1,100. Apple said at the time: “Mr. Bromwich appears to be simply taking advantage of the fact that there is no competition here or, in his view, any ability on the part of Apple, the subject of his authority, to push back on his demands.”
Cupertino added that “of all known past Apple matters,” no lawyer has demanded a higher fee than Bromwich’s $1,100 per hour charge. Though unfortunately for Apple, a court then rejected the company’s appeal against the monitor.
Now, in his recent report, Bromwich explains that Apple’s new in-house contact has helped facilitate their relationship – though there’s still a way to go until Apple’s time with Michael Bromwich is terminated.
For now, at least, the situation seems to have taken a promising turn. We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.