Apple is objecting against the appointment of Michael Bromwich by the court in the ebook price-fixing case, as it thinks the lawyer is overcharging.
According to a Bloomberg report, the former U.S. Justice Department inspector general has proposed a hourly fee of $1,100, which is the highest fee charged "of all known past Apple matters," per Apple's November 27 filing in a federal court in Manhattan.
"Mr. Bromwich appears to be simply taking advantage of the fact that there is no competition here or, in his view, any ability on the part of Apple, the subject of his authority, to push back on his demands," said the lawyers for Apple in the filing.
Moreover, in addition to his hourly fee, Bromwich is charging a 15 percent administrative fee. Per the filing, he is also charging for the cost of hiring other lawyers to assist him.
Earlier in October this year, the U.S. District Judge Denise Cote appointed Bromwich as a monitor, post her July ruling that Apple played a pivotal role in a scheme to fix prices for ebooks. Per the ruling, Apple was also debarred from "entering into anti-competitive contracts with ebook publishers."
Apple's filing reveals that Bromwich defended the administrative fee charge on the basis that he was handling the case via his consultancy - the Bromwich Group - instead of his law firm Goodwin Procter LLP.
Per Apple's lawyers, the distinction "seems slippery at best" especially since Bromwich's law firm issued a press release stating "clearly meant to drum up more business" when announcing Bromwich's appointment as the anti-trust monitor.
Reportedly, Bromwich's invoice for his two weeks of work amounted to a whopping $138,432, which is equivalent to 75 percent of a federal judge's annual salary.