Media and Communications Law

2nd Circuit puts court-appointed monitor back to work in Apple e-book case but limits his duties

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A federal appeals court has put a Washington, D.C., lawyer back to work as an $1,100-an-hour court monitor while an appeal of his appointment is pending in a hard-fought New York case in which Apple Inc. was accused of conspiring with publishers to fix e-book prices.

However, the role of Goodwin Procter partner Michael Bromwich is to ensure that a court-ordered compliance plan is in place rather than to investigate whether company officials are violating antitrust law, the New York City-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in its Monday ruling. That limitation in Bromwich’s duties, the appellate panel said, is based on what U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said when she appointed Bromwich, the New York Times’ DealBook blog (reg. req.) reports.

Apple is currently appealing Cote’s decision to appoint a monitor in the Manhattan federal case. Meanwhile, damages that could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars are expected to be awarded in another phase of the ongoing antitrust litigation, Bloomberg reports.

The case, brought by the Department of Justice, resulted in a ruling by Cote that Apple is liable to 33 states that joined the DOJ in the litigation. They are seeking treble damages.

An Apple spokesman declined a request for comment by Reuters, but a DOJ representative said the feds are pleased with the 2nd Circuit ruling about Bromwich.

See also: “Federal judge rebukes Apple for its conduct to court-appointed monitor, defends his $1K hourly rate”

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