With the parties headed to court today for a conference, Apple's defiant fight against its external monitor, Michael Bromwich, has hit a critical juncture. In a letter to the court filed late last week, DoJ attorneys accused Apple of openly obstructing Bromwich's work, in hopes of halting it altogether.
“It is now apparent that Apple has no interest in resolving anything unless the resolution involves expunging the requirement of a monitor from the Final Judgment,” DoJ attorneys write, saying the company has instead “chosen a campaign of character assassination.”
The letter comes after Apple attorneys asked the court last week to fire Bromwich, questioning his impartiality after Bromwich filed a declaration with the court. But as PW reported last week, DoJ attorneys note that Bromwich’s declaration was given only as “a direct response” to Apple’s filings. And DoJ attorneys also counter that the plaintiffs have reached out to address Apple’s stated concerns—from Bromwich’s fees, which Bromwich has offered to negotiate, to the request for one hour interviews with the company’s leadership. Apple, however, has simply refused to engage with the process, DoJ attorneys claim, choosing instead to press for a stay, and to write letters to the court.
“Apple simply does not want any monitor whatsoever,” DoJ attorneys conclude, “and manufacturing these baseless objections is the only way it apparently believes it can achieve that result.”
Apple has accused Bromwich of conducting a “roving investigation,” and abusing his post, and has argued that Bromwich's methods “would result in a loss of market share for Apple and a decrease in company innovation,” a curious charge in that Bromwich has a narrow mandate from the court—he is staked only with overseeing an internal antitrust training program for Apple employees.