Tensions rose in United States of America v. Apple, Inc., et al., when Apple questioned a court-appointed monitor’s impartiality, prompting the DOJ to respond in a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote that “Apple has chosen a campaign of character assassination over a culture of compliance.” Following allegations that Apple plotted with publishers to fix e-book prices, Judge Cote appointed an external compliance monitor to evaluate Apple’s internal antitrust compliance policies and procedures.

Soon after the appointment, Apple filed a motion to stay the duties of the monitor, arguing that the monitor’s investigation was hampering Apple’s business and putting confidential information at risk. Judge Cote denied Apple’s motion to stay, finding that the monitor’s extensive investigation, which included interviews with board members and executives, did not violate Apple’s rights. Apple appealed to the Second Circuit, attaining a short-term “administrative stay” until a full stay could be evaluated.