“Apple Inc. and book publishers that haven’t settled e-book price-fixing claims will face trial next year in a case filed by the U.S. Justice Department, a federal judge in New York decided,” Patricia Hurtado and Christie Smythe report for Bloomberg.

“The U.S. joined 15 states and Puerto Rico in claiming Apple, CBS Corp.’s Simon & Schuster, Lagardère SCA’s Hachette Book Group, News Corp.’s HarperCollins, Macmillan and Penguin colluded to fix prices of e-books. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, who is presiding over the consolidated lawsuits in federal court in Manhattan, set the trial for June 3, 2013,” Hurtado and Smythe report. “‘Several parties, Apple and DOJ are pushing for a fast trial as fast as can be accomplished that is consistent with justice,’ Cote said yesterday as she set the nonjury trial with Apple and other defendants that haven’t settled.”

Hurtado and Smythe report, “Pearson Plc’s Penguin unit and Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH, continue to fight the lawsuit.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The plainly inept U.S. DOJ has now negatively impacted Apple’s business – deals just have to be harder to come for Apple by with this cloud of idiocy hanging over iBookstore – and will continue to hurt Apple’s business into next year. Gee, DOJ dullards, in this economy, is hurting U.S. business for no good reason a smart thing?

Maybe the DOJ’s ultimate goal is to kill Apple’s e-book business via prolonged uncertainty in order to remake the Amazon e-book monopoly, so they can generate another high profile antitrust case at a later date? Or, more likely, they’re just a bunch of morons. Killing real competition for the appearance of competition is just plain stupid.

We’d say this case is a slam dunk for Apple, but seeing as how their crack legal teams have performed in general over company’s history, the outcome is far from certain.

Related articles:
U.S. government complains, claims Apple trying to rush e-books antitrust case – June 21, 2012
Barnes & Noble blasts U.S. DOJ e-book settlement proposal – June 7, 2012
Apple: U.S. government’s e-book antitrust lawsuit ‘is fundamentally flawed as a matter of fact and law’ – May 24, 2012
Federal Judge rejects Apple and publishers’ attempt to dismiss civil case alleging e-book price-fixing – May 15, 2012
Court documents reveal Steve Jobs email pushing e-book agency model; 17 more states join class action suit – May 15, 2012
Apple vs. Amazon: Who’s really fixing eBook prices? – April 17, 2012
Apple: U.S. DOJ’s accusation of collusion against iBookstore is simply not true – April 12, 2012
Apple not likely to be a loser in legal fight over eBooks – April 12, 2012
16 U.S. states join DOJ’s eBook antitrust action against Apple, publishers – April 12, 2012
Australian gov’t considers suing Apple, five major publishers over eBook pricing – April 12, 2012
DOJ’s panties in a bunch over Apple and eBooks, but what about Amazon? – April 12, 2012
Antitrust experts: Apple likely to beat U.S. DOJ, win its eBook lawsuit – April 12, 2012
Why the market shrugged off the Apple antitrust suit – April 11, 2012
What’s wrong with the U.S. DOJ? – April 11, 2012
Macmillan CEO blasts U.S. DOJ; gov’t on verge of killing real competition for appearance of competition – April 11, 2012
U.S. DOJ hits Apple, major publishers with antitrust lawsuit, alleges collusion on eBook prices – April 11, 2012
U.S. DOJ may sue Apple over ebook price-fixing as early as today, sources say – April 11, 2012