The Apple Inquisition: An appeals court looks at the extra-judicial mugging of the tech firm

“It’s getting harder to distinguish among the executive branch, the judiciary and the private sector in the antitrust campaign against Apple —and a federal appeals court seems to agree,” The Wall Street Journal writes. “This week the Second Circuit rebuked the Justice Department, the federal judge and the white-shoe attorney ganging up to plunder the tech maker”

“The Second Circuit temporarily suspended the outside monitor who Manhattan district court Judge Denise Cote handpicked after she ruled last summer that Apple conspired to drive up digital book prices. Michael Bromwich has since been acting as a prosecutor, demanding privileged documents and interviews with Apple executives and board members who have no relevance to the antitrust compliance that is supposed to be his mandate,” The Wall Street Journal writes. “Mr. Bromwich says he must oversee Apple’s “corporate structure, process, culture and tone” and the “tone at the top of the company,” as he put it in a recent declaration. While he’s at it, maybe he can invent something as revolutionary as the iPad tablet, whose introduction Judge Cote and the Justice Department think was an act of price fixing.”

“The improper relationship between Judge Cote and Mr. Bromwich extends beyond their friendship, political ties and ex parte communications,” The Wall Street Journal writes. “Special masters are usually imposed on companies in negotiated legal settlements and the litigants consent to the terms of their appointment. Yet Apple is appealing Judge Cote’s injunction and the terms of Mr. Bromwich’s installation. The core problem is that under Article III of the Constitution judges aren’t allowed to conduct open-ended investigations, as Mr. Bromwich is doing.”

“Judge Cote said even before the antitrust trial that she was predisposed to rule against Apple, and she is now presiding over a separate class-action damages trial that starts in May,” The Wall Street Journal writes. “Yet in her Jan. 13 tirade she said consumers “suffered hundreds of millions of dollars in harm.” Has she made up her mind in advance in that case too?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Lady Elaine Fairchilde (left), Judge Denise Cote (right), or vice versa
Lady Elaine Fairchilde (left), Judge Denise Cote (right), or vice versa
Apple is innocent and Denise Cote is a vacant-eyed puppet on the hand of a clueless U.S. DOJ marionette whose strings are being pulled by Jeff Bezos.

Related articles:
In pretrial view, judge says leaning toward U.S. DOJ over Apple in e-books case – May 24, 2013
Lawyers have complained for years that Judge Denise Cote pre-judges cases before she enters the courtroom – August 14, 2013

Apple plants seeds of doubt in appellate challenge of antitrust monitor Bromwich – January 22, 2014
U.S. Federal Puppet Denise Cote: ‘Apple’s reaction to the existence of a monitorship underscores the wisdom of its imposition’ – January 16, 2014
European Commission attempts to close corporate tax loophole – November 25, 2013
John F. Kennedy, tax policy, and Apple Inc. – November 22, 2013
Not in Taxes anymore: On site at Apple’s famous Irish ‘headquarters’ – November 2, 2013
Senators Levin, McCain say Ireland faces questions even as Apple tax loophole tightened – October 16, 2013
Ireland to close Apple’s tax loophole, but leave bigger one open – October 15, 2013
U.S. SEC ends review of Apple taxes, overseas cash – October 5, 2013
Obama, world leaders push big companies like Apple, Google to pay more taxes – September 6, 2013
G20 think tank OECD proposes blueprint for global crackdown on tax avoidance – July 19, 2013
Apple again faces scrutiny after paying no UK corporate taxes for 2012 – July 1, 2013
Bloomberg News’ awful reporting on Apple’s U.S. corporate taxes – May 30, 2013
Thomas Sowell on Apple, corporate taxes, and ‘the road to serfdom’ – May 28, 2013
Former Senator Sununu: Congress wrote the tax laws, so why blame Apple for obeying them? – May 28, 2013
Taxing Apple just taxes you – May 24, 2013
Don’t tax Apple, tax its shareholders – May 24, 2013
If Apple paid more tax, we might pay less or something – May 22, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook pounds another nail into the Keynesian coffin – May 22, 2013
Apple CEO Cook makes no apology for company’s tax strategy – May 22, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook charms Capitol Hill – May 22, 2013
Rush Limbaugh: ‘High-tech lynching: Senate attempts to crucify Apple’ – May 21, 2013
Nobody on U.S. Senate committee laid a glove on Apple CEO Tim Cook – May 21, 2013
Senator Rand Paul: Senate committee ‘should apologize to Apple for bullying one of America’s greatest success stories’ (with video) – May 21, 2013
Ireland: We have no special tax rate deal with Apple – May 21, 2013
Apple prepares for Washington onslaught: CEO Tim Cook isn’t taking any chances with senators looking to grandstand – May 21, 2013
Watch Apple CEO Tim Cook’s live testimony before U.S. Senate, starting at 9:30am EDT – May 21, 2013
U.S. Senate investigation found no evidence that Apple did anything illegal in avoiding taxes – May 20, 2013
Apple pays under 2% on overseas profits and it’s entirely legal – November 5, 2012
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So how much did Apple really pay in taxes? – November 1, 2012
Apple’s showdown with the U.S. government over taxes on offshore cash – July 13, 2012
Apple‘s $74 billion tops list of U.S. tech companies’ overseas cash – July 9, 2012
Apple’s dividend move puts spotlight on foreign cash holdings, repatriation tax reform – March 20, 2012
Apple: Good start; and what about the overseas cash? – March 19, 2012
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Senator John McCain eyes Apple’s $54 billion overseas cash pile – November 3, 2011
Google joins Apple in push for U.S. repatriation tax holiday – October 3, 2011
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U.S. companies push for tax break on foreign cash – June 20, 2011
Apple, Oracle, Duke Energy, others organize lobbying blitz for tax holiday – February 17, 2011

45 Comments

  1. Please MDN do some research, Lady Elaine Fairchilde is a hand puppet, not a marionette. Jeff Bezos is not pulling strings instead he’s bending the puppet over and sticking his hand up the puppet, where the sun don’t shine so to speak.

    Makes me shake my head.

    1. Which part of “Denise Cote is a vacant-eyed puppet on the hand of a clueless U.S. DOJ marionette whose strings are being pulled by Jeff Bezos” did you not understand?

      Apologize for asking MDN to “do some research” because you can’t fscking read.

      1. The part of ““Denise Cote is a vacant-eyed puppet on the hand of a clueless U.S. DOJ marionette whose strings are being pulled by Jeff Bezos” did you not understand?” is the photo of Lady Elaine Fairchilde that MDN has been using for repeatedly. Lady Elaine is a hand puppet:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neighborhood_of_Make-Believe

        So on the one hand MDN is describing the actions of a marionette (a puppet on strings) and on the other hand is putting forth the image of a hand puppet.

        That looks more like the left brain is not communicating to the right brain. Perhaps YOU and MDN should do some research because you can’t fscking coordinate reading and imagery.

        1. Again, which part of “Denise Cote is a vacant-eyed puppet on the hand of a clueless U.S. DOJ marionette whose strings are being pulled by Jeff Bezos” did you not understand?

          1. The part that I do not understand is the lack of precision on MDN’s part. That’s why I suggested to them to do some research for precision and clarity. Just who is shoving their fingers up the hand puppet. Jeff Bezos, I can see, but a clueless DOJ? Come on, MDN can do better than that.

            MDN has been using Lady Elaine Fairchilde as a hand puppet, analogy, fine. Certainly the idea of Jeff Bezos being the hand up Cote’s ass would be fine but MDN has chosen to expand the analogy. I guess one could venture into the realm of imagining a hand puppet on the hand of a marionette being pulled by a human, without too much breakdown but since names are being named, just who is the marionette?

            Let me try to make this crystal clear so that even you understand.

            1. Denise Cote is the hand puppet represented by Lady Elaine Fairchilde.

            2. The hand puppet is on the hand of a marionette: HELLO MDN, clueless DOJ is pretty darn vague. If you are going to name names why not do the research and give us the name. For example, pick the name of the clueless DOJ and the name of a marionette.

            3. The clueless DOJ is the marionette and here the operating word is clueless, because research wasn’t done or conveyed.

            4. The unknown marionette is controlled by the human Jeff Bezos.

            Here since you probably still don’t get it now, let me phrase you a paragraph:

            “Apple is innocent and Denise Cote is a vacant-eyed (Lady Elaine Fairchilde) puppet on the hand of a clueless U.S. DOJ Eric Holder acting as Howdy Doody marionette whose strings are being pulled by Jeff Bezos.”

            I find that Lady Elaine Fairchilde is optional in that paragraph because there is a photo right beside the caption and hopefully even you can understand a diagram. If that’s the case you might find these diagrams useful.

            Eric Holder:

            Howdy Doody:

            Note that I am merely suggesting Eric Holder and Howdy Doody as examples. Who the clueless DOJ that MDN is referring to is a mystery to me. Then again I’m not a terrorist, uh not an American, so I would not know.

            Now it could be that when MDN refers to a “clueless DOJ” they are referring to this:

            If that is the case a prop would be much more appropriate to introduce into the analogy rather than a marionette, the latter more likely to denote a singular person.

            At the end of the discussion there is no clear finger pointing at who is the clueless DOJ. If it’s a person, MDN would be doing a great service to name them personally. I selected the head of the DOJ as an example. I do not know if that is who it is they are referring to. If it’s the entire DOJ organization then a prop would be much suited to the analogy. If MDN had conveyed that in their take, well we wouldn’t be having this little discussion now would we.

            I hope this helps clarify your lack of clarity.

            1. You know what makes me laugh? People who say religion causes strife and contention.
              As these two clowns demonstrate so well, people can argue about anything, even freaking puppets.

      2. For one who is so vitriolic about Road Warrior reading, you might want to follow your own direction and pay attention to the words…
        “marionette whose strings are being pulled”
        which is what he is remarking on.

        1. This seems so crystal clear, I’m amazed anyone can’t understand:

          1. Denise Cote is the hand puppet.

          2. She is a puppet on the hand of the clueless DOJ.

          3. The clueless DOJ is the marionette.

          4. The marionette is controlled by Jeff Bezos.

          Do you get it now or do you need a diagram?

            1. I apologise for that typo, it should have read … to find pix “on the” net.

              Anyway, RW, you provide some of the finest back pedalling to be found.

              Let’s revisit what you originally wrote –
              “Please MDN do some research, Lady Elaine Fairchilde is a hand puppet, not a marionette. Jeff Bezos is not pulling strings instead he’s bending the puppet over and sticking his hand up the puppet, where the sun don’t shine so to speak.”

              And it was to this post that Superior Being picked up on the mistake you made. i.e. that at no point did MDN assert that Lady Elaine Fairchilde was a marionette.

              Then in your next post you wrote –
              …”So on the one hand MDN is describing the actions of a marionette (a puppet on strings) and on the other hand is putting forth the image of a hand puppet.”

              And again Superior Being explained MDN thoughts

              Then you went off an a discursive diatribe, trying to cover up your original mistake. Well that doesn’t wash, admit to yourself that your juvenile and headstrong impetuosity got the better of you initially.

              As Superior Being said and I concur, “I understood it perfectly. I fail to see how anyone couldn’t.” – looking at you emmayche and John Smith.

              Thought for the day –
              If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins. ~Benjamin Franklin.

              Have a lovely day.

            2. Yes, I was very confused by the association of DOJ and the use of Jeff Bezos, who I thought originally was associated with the DOJ.

              Your diagram makes it clear that MDN usage of DOJ is intended as a person instead of a prop. I still say it would have been much clearer had the head of the DOJ (Eric Holder).

              Nice picture by the way, MDN should have used something like that in their description. Thanks for putting it together for us who may not be totally aware of the subtleties of you foreigners who will assemble an entire government department into a person. Fascinating.

      3. It amazes me that some people can’t get a joke. RW’s add-on may not appeal to you, but what’s with so much early morning vitriol when it appears you don’t get his joke. SO much like my (bachelor) pretty old uncle who must have the last word on everything. Four posts because you don’t get his comment? Unless, of course, anyone who jokingly corrects MDN is an enemy of yours. The MDN pic and concept are funny, and RW’s “Louie C. K.” add on strikes me funny as well.

  2. The purpose of the Judicial System under the current regime is to punish individuals and organizations that do not completely accept the divinity of the new Messiah, Barack Soetoro Barry Obama (receptacle of Reggie). Apple is not completely subservient and it makes too much in profit for a corporation in a communist nation. Apple needs to undergo a “reeducation plan” of which this legal exercise is just one part. Later, Tim Cook will be connected by dangling body parts to a Delco car battery till he agrees to repatriate all the foreign money and give half to the DNC and half to Obama’s Presidential Libary Fund (sic).

      1. John Kerry testified before Congress that when he was in Vietnam he watched this done frequently to prisoners. I think he may have taken part. He seemed to have been party to it a lot. Batteries to testicles.

  3. Public documents show that after Apple entered the ebooks market average prices *did* increase slightly for a short period. Maybe this is why Cote believes Apple has harmed to public to the tune of millions of dollars.

    HOWEVER, the increase was very short lived and then the average prices dropped to below where they were before Apple entered the market — and continued to drop for some time. Maybe Cote should take that into account too.

    Hmmmm…
    Take all the books sold *during* the short increase period and multiply them by the average selling price increase. Then subtract from that the number of all the books sold since the increase evaporated multiplied by the average price decrease. The resulting number *will* show a net total savings to customers.

    Maybe Cote should hire an outside mathematics expert to show her how Apple shouldn’t be paying millions to members of this class action lawsuit, but rather the members should be paying Apple! If Apple would have to pay for a net increase, Apple should get paid for a net decrease!

  4. In a perfect world, this New Year will bring documents and evidence that forces outside the DOJ were complicit in these moves against Apple. It’s a fantasy, but it’s fun to entertain.

    As an aside, it is a perfect example of the “Beltway Shakedown”. A company whose products have changed the world and demonstrates the USA’s technical prowess is becoming a punching bag for a government system that rewards bribery by hounding a company that pays billions in taxes while relying on taxpayers to ensure massive profits for other companies on corporate welfare. All you need to know about the bought and paid for nature of the government the USA now has is the spectacle of a company that paid 6 billion in taxes called on the carpet to explain themselves by the same organization that allows Boeing, General Electric and DuPont and 27 other corporations to pay nothing.

    1. The government of the USA wasn’t bought and paid for… it was sold.

      There’s a critical difference.

      The first implies outside forces (the wealthy, “evil” corporations, yada-yada-yada) are responsible for government corruption.

      The latter recognizes that the responsibility for corruption lies with those who sell themselves (or influence). No amount of money can buy something that isn’t for sale.

      And unlike others who sell themselves, those in government can not be construed or excused as victims of circumstance or situation of any kind.

  5. Second scathing WSJ article on this mockery of justice and over reach, which will no doubt be refuted by the Supreme Court if it ever gets there.

    President Obama, you have lost some solid support, credibility and all respect, for allowing (if not initiating) this baseless, disgraceful witch hunt. Call off your dogs before you get irreparably bit .

  6. Judge for sale. Judge or sale. Roll up, roll up… Get your competitors put of the market with our special deal on judicial decisions this month. And if you pay within 14 days we’ll throw in an extra-judicial search for product and marketing secrets. We guarantee to put your competitors out of the market. Cash only. Swiss Francs preferred…

  7. “The improper relationship between Judge Cote and Mr. Bromwich extends beyond their friendship, political ties and ex parte communications,”…..

    The old bitch coddling her boy toy.

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