It looks like Apple (AAPL) is stuck with its court-appointed antitrust monitor, for now, despite the company's best efforts to shake him off like a Chihuahua locked on a leg.

Free advice: Embrace the monitor, flood him with documents, give him access to every executive and board member, including former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. Then move on.

Sure, people are not going to buy fewer Apple products because of how the company treats a court monitor. But the resolution of this battle matters to consumers.

Some background:

The reason for the monitor is a very sore point in Cupertino. Last year, a federal judge found Apple guilty of price fixing and anticompetitive behavior when it set digital book pricing as part of the introduction of the iPad. Apple maintained it did nothing wrong and has appealed the decision.

In October, the court assigned a monitor for two years to look into the company's antitrust compliance policies and training. This has been done in other antitrust cases, including the Department of Justice's settlement with Microsoft.

The monitor, Michael Bromwich, a litigation attorney, was given 180 days to issue his first report to the company and the court.

He got right to work. And that's when the trouble began.

In court filings, Apple complained about Bromwich's rate ($1,100 per hour), his "inquisitorial" approach and his requests to speak to top executives and board members whom the company says have nothing to do with antitrust issues.

More questionably, the company argues that dealing with the monitor affects the firm's ability to "identify and exploit new business opportunities" and threatens Apple with a "loss of market share growth" and "the development and marketing of new and innovative products."

Really?

Last Thursday, as Judge Denise Cote slapped away Apple's attempt to get the monitor removed, she questioned the monitor's supposed burden on Apple's business and ability to innovate given that so far Bromwich has done just 13 hours of interviews with 11 people at Apple, seven of whom are lawyers. Legal experts say it is rare for a company to fight a monitor. Apple declined to comment.

"When you lose a case, you lose the benefit of doubt," said Philip Weiser, the dean of the School of Law at the University of Colorado Boulder and a former U.S. deputy assistant attorney general. "The sooner the company accepts this and tries to work with the monitor, the better it will serve them."

While it may be a long shot, there may be a good legal strategy behind the fight, said Jay Levine, a partner at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur.

"If it is at all about ameliorating the effects of the investigation or slowing it down a little bit or having the monitor think twice about asking for certain things, then possibly their strategy is worth it," he said.

Of course, for the famously secretive company, accepting prying eyes, and paying $1,100 an hour for the privilege, is not easy, especially since the company feels right is on its side.

Apple, after all, has been known to require employees on certain projects to never speak of their work.

That veil creates the Apple mystique, protects trade secrets and allows the company to introduce products that surprise competitors and consumers.

I respect that. But this may be one case in which Apple should open up a little because it is in the public interest.

Not many companies matter as much. Apple is at the nexus of digital media and mobile communications. It has a knack for breaking into new markets and reshaping them.

Apple needs to take this opportunity to make sure it won't hurt consumers again by conspiring with business partners to jack up prices.

That's what landed the company in court in the first place, and dealing with a court monitor is just part of getting its house in order.

Contact Michelle Quinn at 510-394-4196 and mquinn@mercurynews.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/michellequinn.