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By Brian Howard

Nothing cast a pall over the publishing world like news of the Department of Justice’s e-book price fixing case against Apple and five of the Big Six publishers. While Apple, Penguin and Macmillan aren’t slated to go to court until 2013, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins have already settled, and the effects are already being felt.

What will this all mean? How and why did the case come about? And what can publishers do once the verdict is reached? At the Publishing Business Virtual Conference and Expo, a panel titled “Ebook Pricing and the DOJ: Does the Consumer Win or Lose?” addressed those very questions.

Attorney Molly Boast, a partner at WilmerHale who was part of the DOJ team that worked on the case, breaks down the government’s case and explains the methods used to build it. Marcelino Elosua, founder and CEO of LID Publishing and an outspoken critic of the case, discusses some of the options for publishers moving forward, including ways niche publishers can avoid working with big e-tailers entirely.

These issues and more are discussed in “Ebook Pricing and the DOJ, a webinar that is available on-demand now. (Registration required.)

This article originally appeared on the Book Business website.

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