Michael Bromwich was in court with the most powerful company and the top government law agency in the country when he seemed to get antsy. Apple and the United States Department of Justice had, after all, been exchanging jabs about him. â€œI’d like to be heard, your Honor, if I can,â€ he told the judge, who said they’d need to â€œexhaust the arguments of the main combatantsâ€ first.
Wanting to interject would be understandable, considering how long Bromwich and Apple had been putting up their dukes inside and outside of court in a bloody fight over cash and corporate power. In July 2013, Apple was found guilty of conspiring to fix market prices for ebooks. The judge in the case, Denise Cote, said there was “a clear portrait of a conscious commitment to cross a line and engage in illegal behavior.” The prosecution’s case was so clear-cut, and Apple showed such little contrition, according to Cote, that it wasn’t enough to take the company’s word that it would change. To make sure Apple fell in line, she called in help.
That would turn out to be Bromwich, a bearded, bespectacled attorney appointed by the court to be Apple’s corporate monitor for two years, a job made to ensure Apple complied with court rulings.
You rarely hear much about this kind of stuff. It seems like it’s not a wise move by Apple to go against the grain of the courts this much, but then again, what do I know.