“Fresh controversy over Apple’s role in an alleged ebook conspiracy raises questions about the judge’s handling of the case, and even led the Wall Street Journal to say she is a ‘disgrace’ and call for her removal,” Jeff John Roberts writes for GigaOM.

“These are harsh words but, according to antitrust experts, the judge may indeed be out of line. More broadly, it’s starting to look like the overall investigation is out of hand as an overzealous judge and Justice Department turn Apple into a victim and the case into a farce,” Roberts writes. “The current controversy arose after U.S. District Judge Denise Cote’s appointed a monitor to oversee Apple’s compliance with a series of antitrust measures… ‘Apple’s Star Chamber,’ a Wall Street Journal editorial that describes Bromwich as Cote’s friend and political ally, and calls the monitor a ‘greenhorn,’ asking sarcastically, ‘Does [Bromwich] want to disinter Steve Jobs too?’”

“When you think of antitrust cases, the classic examples are Standard Oil or AT&T — massive companies that abused monopolies until the government was forced to intervene. It’s hard to see Apple and the ebook market the same way,” Roberts writes. “Apple is certainly a large company, but it’s presence in the ebook market was (and is) negligible — if you ask someone to name a big ebook retailer, it’s a safe bet they’ll name a different company whose name also starts with ‘A.’ That doesn’t, of course, give Apple the right to organize price-fixing conspiracies (the Second Circuit will confirm if they actually did so), but by now the Judge Cote and the Justice Department’s zeal for punishing Apple is starting to feel tired.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve oft stated:

Denise Cote is a hack and a pawn and the U.S. DOJ is plainly inept.

Here’s to Apple running into a competent judge during the appeals process of this fiasco.

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