U.S. government says Apple’s Tim Cook, Al Gore should face e-book inquiries

“Apple Inc. faces opposition from the U.S. in its bid to block an antitrust monitor appointed in a electronic books price-fixing case from interviewing top executives and directors, including chief executive officer Tim Cook and board member Al Gore,” Christie Smythe reports for Bloomberg.

“The government said the monitor, former Justice Department inspector general Michael Bromwich, should be allowed to interview the company’s leaders, as such activities are ‘standard procedure in monitorships,’ according to a filing yesterday in Manhattan federal court. Bromwich was appointed in October by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote to evaluate Apple’s antitrust compliance policies,” Smythe reports. “‘Stripped of its blustery rhetoric and personal attacks, Apple’s motion is about its desire to shield its highest-level executives and board members from the perceived inconvenience of having to sit for these interviews,’ Justice Department lawyers said in papers filed yesterday.”

“In July, Cote found that Apple played a “central role” in facilitating an antitrust conspiracy with book publishers to fix prices of electronic books. The company has appealed her findings,” Smythe reports. “During the two months since his appointment, Bromwich said he has been permitted to interview only 11 people at the company, seven of whom were lawyers rather than business people. The monitor said he was given access to only one member of the board of directors and one executive.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The bearded wonder shouldn’t be allowed to interview anyone until Apple’s appeal is adjudicated.

As we asked earlier today: Why are these Amazon monopoly strengtheners, er… “remedies,” being applied before the appeals have concluded? What if Apple is found innocent and this idiot has already ransacked his way through the entire company? How much is the information Bromwich seeks to collect from the likes of Tim Cook and Al Gore worth? How secure is this inside information that Bromwich is collecting, under guise of a verdict that very well could be overturned?

In United States v. Microsoft Corp., Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson issued his findings of fact on November 5, 1999. Microsoft immediately appealed the decision. On June 7, 2000, the court ordered a breakup of Microsoft as its “remedy.” Microsoft didn’t proceed to break up the company as ordered as their appeal was ongoing. As a result of appeal, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Judge Jackson’s rulings against Microsoft. The DOJ announced on September 6, 2001 that it was no longer seeking to break up Microsoft.

So, again, why does Apple have to apply any “remedies,” before the appeals process has concluded?

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14 Comments

  1. A socialist government bringing a couple of socialists, one of them gay as a badger, to book? Say it ain’t so. Makes my courtroom look like an island of sanity.

  2. Apple should NOT cooperate with the bearded wonder and should stand it’s ground in this Witch Hunt!

    So say all of Apple’s customers, investors and all US enterprise interest.

  3. President Obama :

    Call off your DOJ dogs now !
    Apple is the exemplary US corporate citizen in every respect.

    Failing to do so will lose you every ounce of respect any of your supporters ever had for you.

  4. Put into plain English: Some government thugs are making good on their promise to make it difficult for Apple to conduct business if they don’t cooperate with the NSA.

  5. apple tries to be an honest nice company (mostly)

    unfortunately that’s why it’s getting this load of shat.

    Cook is always saying that the only pictures on his wall for inspiration is Senator Kennedy and Martin Luther, a do gooder and a preacher… and he is in death struggle with zero morale competitors like Google and Samsung and gutter politicians.

    Those of you who are young enough remember Walmart years back used to be harassed constantly with government investigations: labour issues (made in China, destroying american manufacturing , child labour etc ) , non competitive (driving out small businesses , there were tearful mom and pop shop owners testifying in hearings) and it seemed almost every week Walmart was called out for some ‘violation’ or another and condemned in the press . Walmart was spending endless amounts of time defending itself and getting it’s reputation dragged through the gutter (like Apple. Remember the ‘fake’ investigations on Apple’s tax issues, crazy trade commission rulings — so that Obama had to use his veto , politicians condemning apple for destroying american manufacturing in every election speech ? )

    THEN one savvy consultant told walmart: SPEND on LOBBYING stupid . So Walmart spent millions and set up internal lobbying group plus many outside lobbyists which hired ex senators and congressmen and other politicians as lobbyists and suddenly the heavens smiled and no more b.s. Walmart is still Walmart, expanding even more with ‘Supercenters’, still manufacturing in Asia etc but ‘somehow’ no more ‘problems’, no more pesky investigations etc.

    Apple spends very very little on lobbying, Google a smaller company from last stats spends 9 times as much. (By profit a much smaller company than apple Walmart spends near 4 times apple). Apple also spends very little in direct political contributions , less than 1 million (yes that’s ONE million) in 2012 (knowing Apple’s got a hundred billion plus in the bank perhaps we understand why politicians are pissed… ) HALF of that one million went to Obama (hmmm did that together with other political pressure help with his veto to stop the Samsung ban on import of apple products?)

    Perhaps Apple is morally upright holding the high ground and perhaps we should admire them, but unfortunately Apple still lives in the ‘real’ world and here heroes get nailed on crosses….

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