Fruity cargo cult Apple has made the brave move of telling a US court that it is above the law.
Although there had been rumours that Jobs’ Mob was furious with a court for appointing a monitor to make sure it did not set up price cartels in the future, few expected the company to show complete contempt for the US legal system.
Apple lawyers demanded that a lawyer appointed by a court to monitor its antitrust compliance be removed. They claimed he had shown a personal bias against the company by telling Apple what to do and arrange meetings with key Apple figures.
Jobs’ Mob had refused to allow him to do that and was now asking the court to back its decision. After all any decision about Apple was made by its CEO in consultation with the late spirit of Steve Jobs and was holier than any court ruling.
An attorney for the consumer technology giant on Tuesday asked US District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan Apple’s lawyer to knock off a “wholly inappropriate declaration” filed by Bromwich last month.
In the letter Bromwich dared to defend his work as a monitor against Apple’s complaint, he also detailed his unsuccessful efforts to gain Apple’s cooperation for his assignment. According to Apple that was heresy, because it implied that Apple either did not know what it was doing, or was deliberately trying to get around the court order.
The relationship between Apple and Bromwich quickly spiraled downward when it became clear that Bromwich was taking his job seriously. Apple complained Bromwich had aggressively sought to interview top executives, even though his mandate called for him to assess the company’s antitrust policies 90 days after his appointment.
Apple also cited Bromwich’s proposed hourly payment rate of $1,100. Those fees, Apple argued, provided Bromwich incentive to run “as broad and intrusive investigation as possible.”
It is not clear what Judge Cote will say. Apple has indicated several times that it believed it was legal to operate a price fixing cartel with publishers. Our guess is the judge might tell Apple that it has committed a crime against its customers and it was time to face the music on the court’s terms, not the iTunes terms and conditions.