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Apple is not too happy about the fee being charged by Michael Bromwich who was appointed by a judge for supervising the anti-trust case involving e-books. Bromwich was appointed as the legal overseer after a case was filed for price fixing of e-books against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and five other book publishers.
The lawsuit was filed by the United States Judge Cote against Apple and five prominent book publishers back in April last year. Apple raised the fee issue in Manhattan’s federal court on the 27th of November complaining that the overseer Michael Bromwich was charging more fee than any lawyer in the past; Bromwich is charging $1,100 per hour for his services.
Cupertino lawyers believe that Bromwich is taking advantage of the situation that does not give Apple the freedom to demand anything. Denise Cote hired Bromwich back in October to oversee the issue price fixing issue. The ruling banned any anticompetitive contracts between Apple and e-books.
The complaint launched by Apple says that Bromwich does not only want an extremely high hourly fee, but also demands a 15% organizational fee along with addition fee to hire more lawyers to help him with his duties. A sum of $138,432 was demanded by Bromwich for this first two week of service alone; this sum equals 75% of annual salary of any federal judge. Apple calls these charges extraordinary.
Filing by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shows that Bromwich believes that the administrative fee he is charging is justified because he is providing services through his consultancy firm, the Bromwich Group instead of involving his law firm named Goodwin Procter LLP. Apple’s lawyers do not seem satisfied by Bromwich’s explanation because of a press release issue by Goodwin Procter LLP stating that more business will follow after Bromwich’s appointment on the Apple case.
Apple also objected to the arrangement that allowed Bromwich to interview Apple employees without any counsel present; this arrangement also allows Bromwich to report to Cote without the presence of any Apple lawyers.
According to Melissa Schwartz, Bromwich Group’s vice president, Bromwich was not in the country and therefore could not comment on this issue.
In the premarket, shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) jumped up by 0.92% ($551.00) as this article was being written.