Apple Objects to Mega Bill Submitted by Court Ordered Antitrust Monitor

Posted on November 29, 2013

Apple has objected to the fees of the court-ordered monitor who has been directed to oversee Apple's compliance with antitrust laws after it lost big in the ebook price fixing case brought against it by the U.S. Department of Justice. Attorney Michael Bromwich is charging Apple $1100 an hour, plus a 15% administrative fee, plus any fees needed to hire other attorneys to help him.

According to Bloomberg, Apple said in its filing, "Of all known past Apple matters, no lawyer has had a higher rate than Michael Bromwich's proposed hourly fee of $1,100. Mr. Bromwich appears to be simply taking advantage of the fact that there is no competition here or, in his view, any ability on the part of Apple, the subject of his authority, to push back on his demands."

Bromwich says that he isn't billing the fee through his law firm, Goodwin Proctor LLP, but instead is billing it through his own consultancy firm, the Bromwich Group, according to Apple. Why that would justify such a high fee is not explained by Bromwich. And in any event the law firm immediately issued a press release about the appointment, which Apple says was to drum up more business.

Bromwich's submitted a whopping first bill of $138,432 which was for only two weeks of work. At that rate, Bromwich would get $3,322,368 a year. No doubt the Apple execs nearly passed out when they read that invoice for two weeks work. But that's not all Apple is unhappy about. Apple also objects to Bromwich talking to Apple employees at any time without allowing Apple's attorneys to be present. Judge Denise Cote has yet to rule on Apple's filing.

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