FORTUNE -- My colleague Roger Parloff has posted a fascinating back-channel account of the rapidly deteriorating relations between Apple (AAPL) and Michael Bromwich, its court-appointed e-book antitrust monitor.
The trigger, as it so often is, was money.
"On October 24," Parloff reports, "Apple liaison [Kyle] Andeer angered Bromwich by sending him an email questioning Bromwich's proposed $1,100 hourly fee and 15% 'administrative fee.'
"Andeer offered, as a counterproposal, a $800 hourly rate for Bromwich and a $700 rate for his antitrust specialist... Andeer further informed Bromwich -- in gestures that we now know were seen as quite insulting by Bromwich -- that, in accordance with Apple's standard expense policy, Bromwich would be limited to 'per diems of $15 for breakfast, $25 for lunch, and $30 for dinner'...
"Bromwich responded with a tart reminder that he was a court-appointed monitor, not one of Apple's outside counsel, and that the propriety of his fees was a matter to be determined by the court, the Justice Department, and the state attorneys general.
"He also wryly suggested that he would consider following Apple's expense policy only upon being advised 'whether your lawyers from Gibson Dunn working on this matter ... follow these expense guidelines without exception.'"
"But legal fees are clearly not the crux of this dispute," Parloff adds, pointing out that Gibson Dunn, Apple's outside counsel, bills more than $1,000 per hour and that its appellate ace, Ted Olson, has reportedly charged as much as $1,800.
Apple's real target, Parloff suggests, is the court that appointed Bromwich.
"Lurking beneath Apple's bristling at the monitor's legal fees and bridling at his 'disruptiveness' is a more fundamental issue," he writes. "Should a monitor have ever been appointed here at all -- an unusual step in a case like this one, in which the defendant has no long history of either egregious wrongdoing or recalcitrant behavior...
"Directly or indirectly, the company appears to be arguing that the overkill that such an appointment reflects is of a piece with a loss of perspective that Apple claims has characterized Judge [Denise] Cote's rulings throughout the case. In the end, Apple's key target here appears not to be Bromwich at all, but rather Judge Cote."
Apple escapes the most intrusive elements of the government's proposed remedies.
FORTUNE -- Judge Denise Cote issued her final order in the Apple (AAPL) e-book antitrust case late Thursday.
From the company's point of view, it could have been a lot worse.
The order prohibits Apple from engaging in the kind of negotiations or structuring the kinds of deals that resulted in five of the big six publishers ganging up on Amazon (AMZN) in MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Sep 6, 2013 10:18 AM ET
The Peter Thiel-backed startup, launching today, offers unlimited reads for $9.95 a month.
By Beth Kowitt, writer
FORTUNE -- Could Oyster be the Netflix for books? It's the question many industry-watchers have been asking since last October, when the New York City-based startup received $3 million in funding led by Founders Fund.
Today's launch of Oyster in Apple's (AAPL) App Store gets us closer to an answer. With Oyster, subscribers get unlimited digital MORESep 5, 2013 10:57 AM ET
Judge Cote makes short work of Apple's list of nine evidentiary "errors."
FORTUNE -- This may be too deep in the weeds for anyone who hasn't been following the Apple (AAPL) e-book antitrust case as closely as I have.
But I was curious how Judge Denise Cote would deal with nine evidentiary issues Apple says it will raise in its appeal of her ruling last month (pdf here) that the company was MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 15, 2013 8:46 AM ET
Meet the only other convicted price-fixer assigned a court-ordered compliance monitor.
FORTUNE -- Once a month starting in 2001, according to the DOJ's complaint, senior sales executives at AU Optronics (ADR) met secretly with their competitors in a Taipei hotel room to set prices for the thin-film transistor LCD screens used in computers and TVs -- a blatant violation of Section 1 of the Sherman antitrust act.
The conspirators called these monthly MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 3, 2013 3:16 PM ET
Judging from Judge Cote's past performance, the odds are in Amazon's favor.
FORTUNE -- In another context -- or another courthouse -- the remedies the Justice Department and 33 states proposed Friday to address what they call Apple's (AAPL) "illegal conduct" in the e-book market might seem like an unreasonable intrusion by a government agency into a private company's business practices.
Among other things, the DOJ is demanding that Apple let Amazon MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 2, 2013 1:05 PM ET
More firepower in the startup's bid to transform interactive books.
FORTUNE -- Just five months after digital book publisher Inkling launched Habitat, a set of cloud-based tools that let users create interactive books, the startup has picked up two powerful new partners. Publishing giants Pearson and Elsevier have announced multi-million dollar deals to use Inkling to build digital versions of the textbooks, scientific and technical journals they publish. The news comes MOREJessi Hempel, writer - Jul 17, 2013 12:20 PM ET
Catching up to the demo BTIG's Rich Greenfield posted earlier this week on YouTube.
FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL) senior VP Eddy Cue showed up late to the e-book antitrust trial last month because he was busy nailing down the final iTunes Radio contracts in advance of the June 10 WWDC keynote.
And I was so busy Wednesday trying to wrap my head around Judge Denise Cote's decision in that case -- in which MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 13, 2013 6:22 PM ET
I thought the judge was coming around to Apple's point of view. I was wrong.
FORTUNE -- The benches were hard. The courtroom was over-cooled. The reporting challenges were daunting (no Wi-Fi, no cellphones, no laptops). But the drama that unfolded over three weeks of testimony was compelling, and I was happy to be one of a handful of reporters who sat through the whole thing.
I thought I had a good handle MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 11, 2013 8:28 AM ET
Apple's appeal of the trial judge's verdict will hinge on the last 38 pages of her decision.
FORTUNE -- The first 122 pages of the 160-page ruling against Apple (AAPL) that U.S. District Judge Denise Cote handed down on Wednesday could have been written before the trial began.
In fact, most of them probably were.
Judge Cote was familiar with the case from having supervised the proceedings by which the five so-called Publisher MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 10, 2013 1:30 PM ET
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