Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Apple Doesn’t Want to Pay the Feds’ E-Book Lawyer $70,000 a Week

cook8As part of its punishment for the e-book antitrust trial it lost this summer, Apple is supposed to be footing the bill for a court-appointed “compliance monitor.”

Apple is not happy about this. At all.

While it appeals the court’s ruling in the trial, Apple is now contesting the way that its monitor, former federal prosecutor Michael Bromwich, is going about his business.

Among Apple’s complaints, filed in federal court this week:

  • Bromwich is doing too much, by doing things like demanding interviews with Apple CEO Tim Cook, board member Al Gore, and Jony Ive (“whose sole and exclusive responsibility at Apple is to perfect elegant product designs,” according to an Apple attorney).
  • Bromwich is charging too much — more than $1,100 an hour. Apple says this is “higher than Apple has ever encountered for any task.” Bromwich’s bill for his five-person team’s first two weeks of work: $138,432.40.

Bromwich’s response, which he has sent to Apple and its attorneys as part of a lengthy back-and-forth over the past few weeks:

  • You people seem to think I’m working for you. “Apple has sought for the last month to manage our relationship as though we are its outside counsel or consultant,” he wrote in a letter to Cook and his board last week.
  • My fees are reasonable, and you have no idea what a reasonable fee looks like. Also, it doesn’t matter if you think my fees are reasonable, because you don’t get to negotiate them: You just pay them. The court will approve them.

If you have the time and inclination, you can read the court documents yourself.

Here’s Apple’s complaint to the court:


Apple DOJ Objection 2 All Things Digital.pdf


Bromwich letter to Apple All Things Digital.pdf


Bromwich letter to Apple attorney All Things Digital.pdf

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work