US appeals court judge temporarily blocks monitor’s work after e-book price fixing ruling

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NEW YORK, N.Y. – A federal appeals court judge has temporarily suspended the work of a court-appointed monitor assigned to make sure Apple Inc. has safeguards in place to comply with antitrust laws.

Judge Raymond J. Lohier Jr. signed the order Tuesday. He suspended the two-year appointment of a monitor until a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals can decide “as soon as possible” if a longer suspension is necessary.

A lower-court judge appointed a monitor after concluding last summer following a trial that Apple had colluded with book publishers in 2010 to raise electronic book prices.

Apple claims the monitor was “conducting a roving investigation” that interfered with Apple’s business. The monitor disputed that.

Lohier ordered the government to submit arguments by Friday on its opposition for a stay.

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