Apple, the world’s largest public company by market capitalisation, has a problem. The lawyer appointed to ensure it is not price-fixing e-book sales is just too expensive.
The iPhone and iPad maker complained to the New York court this week that Michael Bromwich’s $1,100 an hour fee is “excessive” and he has not justified it as either “reasonable” or customary”.
If Googlers were in any doubt of the seriousness of the European Union’s investigation into the search engine’s business practices, the detailed questionnaire sent to advertising agencies this week should set them straight.
Why has Microsoft recently been so keen to play nicely and comply with all of the EU’s requests on antitrust and privacy?
This week the company began rolling out its “browser ballot screen” which allows European Windows users to chose which internet browser they would like to have on their computer. It marks – almost – the end of Microsoft’s long-running antitrust battle with Brussels, although the company will still be under the Commission’s scrutiny for a while to see how well the browser choice scheme works.
It was only a matter of time before Brussels began looking at an antitrust complaint against Google. Murmurings of discontent about the dominant search engine have been going on for several years now, and recently there has been a rash of smaller cases against the company.
Three particular cases are being considered by the European Commission. A complaint by Foundem, a UK vertical search company, one from ejustice.fr, a French legal search site, and a complaint made initially in Germany by Ciao!, a vertical search site recently bought by Microsoft.