Apple’s court-appointed antitrust monitor, Michale Bromwich, in a report to New York district court says the company has made “substantial progress” in the compliance program, but bemoans the Cupertino firm’s consistent unwillingness to cooperate with his investigation.
Bromwich brought U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote up to date on Apple’s activities, saying the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant worked “diligently” to improve on its antitrust compliance program during what could be his final reporting period.
Judge Cote appointed Bromwich to oversee Apple’s e-books dealings following a finding that Apple had conspired with a number of major book publishers to fix the price of e-books. While Bromwich’s initial two-year term will expire soon, Cote has the option to extend the appointment.
Bromwich reports that he has met with continual resistance from Apple, and that company has been reluctant to divulge information – specifically about Apple Music content deals – complaining of “objections, resistance and the provision of minimal information.”
“In this respect, Apple has been its own worst enemy,” Bromwich writes. “This lack of cooperation has cast an unnecessary shadow over meaningful progress in developing a comprehensive and effective antitrust compliance program.”
Bromwich did note that Apple appeared to handle its Apple Music licensing dealing well.
Bromwich and Apple have been at odds since Judge Cote assigned Bromwich as an antitrust overseer nearly two years ago. The company has long maintained Bromwich’s investigation is wide-roving and unconstitutional. A bid by Apple to remove Bromwich as overseer was denied by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in May.