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Judge Cote: Apple must follow court orders

Staff writer |
US District Judge Denise Cote rejected Apple's request for more time to comply with a ruling on e-book price-fixing. She gave Apple until Monday to accept compliance, but said it could get an extension from an appellate court if it files a request by Saturday.

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An Apple attorney, Theodore Boutrous, said an appeal would be filed. The judge's 64-page order harshly criticised Apple for failing to work with the court-appointed monitor, former prosecutor Michael Bromwich, and said she appointed him only after Apple made it clear it would not reform its practices on its own.

"The court created breathing room for Apple to unilaterally revise and improve its compliance programme, even after Apple had failed to take the opportunities which were given to it this past summer to show that it would do so without the imposition of a monitor," Judge Cote wrote.

"That said, the monitor has important work to do, and where that work properly includes interviews of board members or executives, then the monitor must be permitted to conduct those interviews." Judge Cote said Apple failed to show it would be "irreparably harmed" by complying with the court order or with the monitor.

Since the monitor began work three months ago, Apple has permitted only 13 hours of interviews, and that seven of the 11 people interviewed were attorneys.

Judge Cote said Apple must raise any objections with Bromwich himself or the Department of Justice, and if they cannot resolve the matter, by petitioning the court.

"The deterioration of the relationship between Apple and the monitor is unfortunate and disappointing. Hopefully, that relationship can be 'reset' and placed on a productive course. But it is strongly in the public's interest for the monitor to remain in place."

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